The mint julep has been promoted as the official drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1938. A widely popular cocktail, it is said to have originated in southern United States, around the 18th century. However, this style of drink goes even further back to the 15th century Europe, where a ‘julep’ was a way to make medicine go down easy. Sugar syrup was flavored, mixed with prescribed medication and served to the patient.
In pre-independence America, mint juleps were first made with brandy. As word spread down south, it gradually came to be replaced with whiskey, and sometimes, gin.
Today, the word ‘julep’ implies a sweet drink. It derives from the Spanish ‘julepe,’ which in turn has its roots in ‘golab’— the Persian word for rosewater.
This tipple is a refreshing combination of sweet, tart and minty— an ideal drink to beat the summer heat and put a spring in your step.
Mix your own Mint Julep
Lightly muddle eight mint leaves (preferably spearmint, but any kind works) and 7.5ml raw sugar syrup in a Julep cup or glass. Pour in 60ml bourbon, and swizzle gently. Fill the rest of the cup with crushed ice, and stir until well frosted on the outside. Top with some more crushed ice to make an ice dome. Garnish with a couple drops of bitters, a sprig of mint, and enjoy!
There’s nothing more sophisticated than sipping on a glass of a classic Brown Derby cocktail. Invented at the Vendôme bar in Hollywood in 1930, this smooth blend was named after the iconic chain of restaurants in 20th century Los Angeles. These were widely popular back in the day, and stood out for their distinctive ‘derby hat’ shape.
As the name suggests, the Cape Fear Punch owes its christening to the rather ill-famed Southern US men’s club. The club was founded on 3 March 1866 in Wilmington and incorporated on 8 February 1872. It is generally recognized as the oldest social club of its kind in continuous existence in North Carolina and one of the oldest in Southeast US.