Tomorrow is the Kentucky Derby, and you know what that means! That’s right – big hats and Mint Juleps.
The Mint Julep is a real blast from the past. It was developed in the Southeastern United States in the late 18th century, and has been the subject of songs, and featured in artwork, stories, poems and literature for over 200 years. It is truly an historic drink.
Here’s how to make a Mint Julep:
- 4 oz of Good quality Bourbon
- ½ oz of simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
- 6-10 Mint Leaves (the small leaves are the sweetest for flavoring, but the big ones are great for garnishes)
- Glass full of crushed ice
Directions: This drink really is supposed to be made with crushed ice. You can crush your ice in a blender, or use a mallet and a clean towel. Or, perhaps you are lucky enough to have a refrigerator that can make crushed ice for you.
Put a small amount of the ice in your glass and add the mint leaves. You will muddle the mint leaves with the ice – but don’t KILL it! Just mash it around a few times with the back of a spoon. If you muddle the mint too much it will get bitter.
Next, fill the glass the rest of the way up with ice so that the ice is actually mounded on top of the glass. Next, pour the Bourbon over the ice and let it settle to the bottom. As it does this it will cause the ice to melt somewhat. Then add the syrup, on top. There is no need to actually mix this up.
Garnish with a sprig of mint.
This Mint Julep is intended to be sipped from a silver or stainless steel cup on a hot day. As you drink the ice melts and the flavors of the mint and syrup blend with the whiskey in a delicious way. These days, most people serve them in glass Collins glasses – simply because that’s what we all have. Either is ok, but the metal cups get a nice frost on them from the condensation that is really cool.
So far, all of our reviews have been about beers. Now we’re going to start mixing it up a bit with liquor. This week we reviewed Canadian Club. A great value for the quality you’ll get.
Now, if you’ve tried the single malt whiskies and scotches then you know how wide the range of taste can be for whiskey (or, in this case whisky). The Canadians are smooth and drinkable, and for our money much better for mixing cocktails than most other types of whiskey.
Read our review of Canadian Club Whisky.
Uh oh… Samuel Smith disappoints! As much as it pains me to say it, I just cannot recommend this beer. It isn’t that it’s BAD. It’s just that… Well, read our Review of Samuel Smith Winter Welcome Ale
I’m not sure what I was expecting when I opened this beer, but the hops are so strong that the taste hit me in the face like a shovel – I just wasn’t expecting it. Therefore I would say that if you like hops a lot, or if you like to be hit in the face with a shovel, then you’ll really like this beer. That’s not a bad thing either… Full Review of Never Summer Ale
When we talk about chasers, we usually are talking about taking a shot and then “chasing” it with a beer. However some people do it the opposite way, they chug a beer and chase it with a shot. Many recipes also call for dropping a shot of liquor into a beer, or layering the liquor with the beer.
Check out our Chasers page for a five great recipes that combine beer and liquor.
Are you looking for a mixed drink with a little more class? The Cosmopolitan or “Cosmo” is a cousin of the Martini, but because of the fruit content, it is much easier to get into than a traditional Gin Martini – espectially if you don’t like Gin!
Here’s How to make a Cosmopolitan
1 1/2 Ounces Vodka
1/4 Ounce Triple Sec
1/4 Ounce Cranberry Juice
1 Splash Lime Juice
Garnish with Lime Wedge
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and stir. Strain into a “Martini” Glass.
If you go into most bars and order a beer, chances are very high that you’ll get it in either a Pint Glass, or a Mug. Generally speaking, that’s fine. Not like we’re going to turn the beer away because it’s in the wrong glass, right?
That said, there are some glasses that are designed for different kinds of beers.
So, to help alleviate the confusion about the differences between a Wheat Beer glass and a Pilsner Glass, we’ve created the Drunk Man’s Guide to Beer Glasses.
You may never be confused about beer glasses again!
Oh, and the picture of the funky looking beer glass to the left here is a Kwak glass. They are fun to drink out of, but unfortunately they aren’t dishwasher safe.