Kentucky Classics – The Julep and Seelbach

The Kentucky Derby & Mint Julep.  A bond of tradition since 1939.  This sweet, minty, bourbon based cocktail has been the traditional drink of the Derby for 76 years.  If you’re in the mood for a sweet herbal drink, then I’d recommend this classic which is typically served in a silver cup over crushed ice.

3 oz Bourbon
1 teaspoon Simple Syrup
4 Mint leaves
In a shaker, muddle mint leaves until juices have been released from the bruised mint leaves.  Add bourbon and simple syrup, and shake and then double strain (so to avoid chunks of mint leaves in the drink). Pour over crushed ice into a silver cup or highball glass, if you don’t have a silver cup lying around.

However,  if you’re in the mood for an in-your-face bourbon cocktail with a bitter twist, then try this Louisville, Kentucky classic; the Seelbach.  Named after the hotel it was concocted in (circa 1917) it appeals to a slightly different set of taste buds.  It allows you to get the full flavor of the sweet, oaky, bourbon with a touch of herbal and citrus effervescence.

1 oz Bourbon
1/2 ounce Cointreau
7 dashes Angostura
7 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
5 oz chilled dry Champagne or Sparkling Wine
Mix first 4 ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Strain into a highball glass over ice and top with champagne/sparkling wine.