Mastering the mint julep

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It is slightly less than one month until the Kentucky Derby, which means that people around here are starting to talk about mint juleps. It can be difficult to make a good mint julep; many of them end up way too sweet, or tasting sort of like mouthwash. If that’s been your experience, help is on the way.

Master mixologist Joy Perrine, the “bad girl of bourbon,” will demonstrate how to make the perfect julep from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, at an event called “Juleps: Mint & More” at Locust Grove, 561 Blankenbaker Lane. As the name implies, Joy won’t just focus on the traditional julep – she’ll be making strawberry, pineapple and chocolate juleps too, and you’ll get to sample all four.

In addition, Woodford Reserve master distiller Chris Morris will be there to talk about the juleps served at Churchill Downs on Derby Day, from the ones in the souvenir glasses to the special $1,000 Woodford Reserve Julep. (Woodford is the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby).

The julep event is $30 ($20 for Friends of Locust Grove) and includes light hors d’oeuvres. Call 502-897-9845 to make your reservation. 

You know, the more you type the word “julep,” the weirder it looks. Which, of course, made this English major wonder about its origin. Here’s what Merriam-Webster has to say: “Middle English, from Middle French, from Arabic julāb, from Persian gulāb, from gul rose + āb water. First Known Use: 14th century.”

So there you have it: Rose water. Feel free to drop that bit of trivia at your Derby parties. 

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