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Published on April 29th, 2019 | by Darren Paltrowitz


5 Fun Whiskey Recipes Just In Time For The 2019 Kentucky Derby

Widely known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” the Kentucky Derby has been a major international event for over 140 years. And when it comes to the Kentucky Derby — which takes place next on May 4, 2019 — there are a few things which ought to spring to mind, like over-the-top hats, announcer commentary that resembles a high-speed car chase, and the almighty Mint Julep.

The Mint Julep was announced the official drink of the Kentucky Derby in 1983, and it has been a Southern staple for as long as whiskey industry experts can remember. Below are five Mint Julep-adjacent recipes provided to me from the likes of Woodford Reserve, Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey, Slow & Low, and Templeton Rye. In turn, even if you are watching this year’s Kentucky Derby at home or at your favorite local watering hole, you can still be there in Louisville in spirit.

#1: The Perfect Woodford Reserve Mint Julep

2 parts Woodford Reserve
– 1 part Water
– 1 tsp. Sugar
– Crushed Ice
– 4 sprigs Fresh Mint

– Express the essential oils in the mint and rub them inside the glass or copper cup.
– To the same glass, add sugar, water, bourbon and crushed ice.
– Stir. Garnish with more crushed ice and fresh mint.

#2: The Proper Julep

– 2 oz Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey
1 barspoon
– .25 oz raw sugar
8-10 Mint Leaves
Crushed Ice

– Lightly muddle ¾ of the mint leaves and sugar into cup
– Add Proper No. Twelve Whiskey and crushed ice
– Garnish with mint

#3: Woodford Spire

– 1.5 parts Woodford Reserve
– 2 parts Lemonade
– 1 part cranberry juice
– Crushed Ice
– Lemon peel for a lemon twist to garnish

– In a glass mix Woodford Reserve, lemonade and Cranberry juice with a bar spoon.
– Add liquid mixture into a copper cup, add crushed ice to the top of the glass, and serve with a lemon twist.

*This cocktail is also served at Churchill Downs for anyone who doesn’t want a Mint Julep, and is also a great alternative as a “batched cocktail” to serve to friends at any Derby Watching Parties*

#4: Slow & Low Julep

– 3 oz of Slow & Low Rye Whiskey
– 1/2 oz of Simple Syrup (preferably Demerara)
– 10 sprigs of mint (Reserve 1 sprig for garnish)
– Crushed ice
– Copper, steel or aluminum cup

– Muddle whiskey and mint in a mix glass
– Add 1 large cube of ice
– Stir (but not so much as to dilute)
– Add liberal amounts of crushed ice to more than fill the tin cup
– Fine strain contents of mix into a glass overcrushed ice
– Garnish with 6 mint leaves

#5: Templeton Mint Julep

– 7.5 ml Simple syrup
– 8 Mint leaves
– 60 ml Templeton Rye
– Dash of bitters
– Garnish: Mint Leaf

– In a Julep cup or rocks glass, lightly muddle the mint and syrup
– Add Templeton and pack tightly with crushed ice
– Stir until the cup is frosted on the outside
– Top with more crushed ice to form an ice dome and garnish with a few drops of bitters, if desired, and a mint sprig

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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" series, which airs on dozens on television and digital networks. He has also co-authored 2 published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), and co-hosts the world's only known podcast about David Lee Roth, "The DLR Cast."

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