We've already spoken about how to make a classic mint julep. But let's say you want to jazz it up a bit, skip the mint bits in your teeth and brighten the flavor. We asked Maxwell Britten of Maison Premiere and Leo Robitschek of the NoMad and Eleven Madison Park for help refining the classic Derby Day drink.
'Derby Day' on Serious Eats
Don't be a slouch. A proper julep is a beautiful thing, but you can't be lazy. A bottled premix isn't the way to go here. Today, I give you three and a half tips for a proper julep, but first, as a refresher course, let's review the basic procedure.
It's almost Derby Day! Adam Bereitenstein of Mozz in Louisville, KY recently welcomed us into his family home to show us how to make the ultimate mint julep. Simple in its components, the mint julep's complexities are in the details.
One thing that will be different is that I'll finally get to drink a real mint julep. Yup, I'm a bourbon-loving, track-going, Kentuckian-befriending booze columnist who's never had a proper mint julep. Look, I'd be all for drinking mint and complication if someone else wanted to do the herb gathering and ice shaving, but no one in my life ever has. The people who make Early Times Kentucky Whisky make a premixed facsimile, though, and the people who market it sent me a bottle. Close enough?
Many classic cocktail recipes call for the drier character of rye whiskey instead of the softer, sweeter flavor of bourbon. But bourbon is delicious! Used judiciously, bourbon can offer an excellent cocktail experience. Here are a few suggestions for selecting bourbons, what drinks to make with them, and why proof matters.