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Wednesday, May 04, 2005 

Blue Grass Winners

Posted by Hello Well...it IS Kentucky Derby week and the post positions will be drawn today....and, really what is a Derby without THE JULEP?!

Kentuckians host some of the most lavish celebrations known to man--usually surrounding equestrian events--and now they show the rest of us how it's done. This is Southern hospitality and entertaining on a grand scale, from intimate family dinners to mammoth parties. Also contains history, photos and favorite menus from Kentucky horse farms. 400+ recipes, including Cream of Pimiento Soup and Amaretto Mousse. You know it's a southern recipe when it reads like a novel.

The JULEP is not a miser's beverage, and it reaches its height of conviviality only where friends are gathered together to lend the nectar of their charm to the succulent ingredients, which combine to soothe all of the senses of man. Even as friendship is a nurtured emotion....so is a JULEP born.

One does not dash madly to the ice tray; bombard commercial glasses with characterless lumps of cold; splash whiskey, sugar and water into a blasphemous hodgepode....stirring the whole truth with a hasty finger that has only just applied some mint to the conglobberation with the gesture one would use to discard parsley from a main course to his butter plate.

Ah, no! The JULEP is a triumph of leaisure! First, one should have a prechilled silver tumbler. He then selects a tender sprig of mint (the sacrificial mint) which is rubbed with firm, though gentle, pressure around the interior walls of the tumbler, being careful not to crush, or mince, the leaves....it is fragrant taste we are seeking.

Crush ice to the size of pebbles from a clear and running brook until each particle sparkles in the late afternoon sun like the eyes of fairies caught in the morning dew.

Pack the tumbler with these joyous creatures, then feed them sweet nectar brewed of equal parts of sugar and water to the consistency of liquid honey. A teaspoon and a half, poured slowly over the ice, should suffice.

Then fill the tumbler with finest Bourbon...from Kentucky, of course.

Now, stir until a frost appears; add fresh, tender, topleaf sprigs of mint about three inches long, and serve.

Did you ever FEEL such a cool caress?
Did you ever SEE a more relaxing picture?
Did you ever HEAR a more pleasing tune?
Did you ever SMELL a more fragrant odor?
Did you ever TASTE a more enjoyable sip?
What more, then, can you possibly need....except a friend to
enjoy a JULEP with you?

I'm dying for a Mint Julep! My mint is just starting to peek it's head out of the soil, in a few weeks I will make my first of the season. I could buy some mint, but it keeps me in a seasonal frame of mind to wait! After all, the anticipation is part of the fun! What brand of Bourbon do you prefer for the Julep?

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