The mint julep has been a staple of every Kentucky Derby since 1938, but you don’t have to be at Churchill Downs in order to enjoy this refreshing and historic bourbon drink. Here’s a favorite recipe that’s sure to have you stumbling around like a horse age 21 or older!
1. Muddle 4 mint sprigs in a Collins glass. Spearmint leaves are preferred, though in a pinch, you also can easily substitute menthol cigarettes.
2. Try to make your drink indoors as mint juleps are known to attract hippos from up to 10,000 miles away.
3. Carefully crush a sugar cube beneath the hoof of the Kentucky Derby horse you’ve placed your bet on and add it to the mint.
4. Add a splash of water and swish it around the sides of the glass like a real fancy man.
5. Slowly drizzle 3 oz. of bourbon over your sugar and mint mixture. When done properly, this step should take you 70 minutes.
6. Remember, it’s not truly a mint julep until you say the Mint Julep Couplet to your guest: “Borne unto you, with sugar and mint / I didn’t cough in it, but there may be some lint.”
7. Carefully place completed cocktail on the top of your head as an offering to Epona, the Roman goddess of horses, who was slightly amused by people placing alcoholic beverages on the top of their head.