Do you have a bucket list? I do. It’s full of plenty of things I want to see, do, and accomplish in my lifetime. Some of them are long-term goals that will takes years of work and some of them are just fun things I really want to experience. One thing that falls into the latter category is to go somewhere I can wear a cute dress, a big hat, and maybe even little white gloves, much like Audrey Hepburn did in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
Seeing as I don’t really know anybody who has an in with the Kentucky Derby, I may just have to create that opportunity for myself. Fancy pants Derby party anyone? I don’t have the house, dress, or hat for it this year, but I do have one thing set. This drink. It’s divine. As in a little too easy to drink divine.
My best friend’s mom found the recipe in this month’s Food & Wine. When she told me it was a mint julep with ginger, I was already in. Then she showed me the recipe and I saw that Bobby Flay created this blend of bourbon, ginger, orange, and mint. Bobby Flay has never steered me wrong, and the man sure does know his bourbon. This case is no different. The ginger, orange, and mint in the syrup (which, by the way, is also heavenly in iced tea) work together in the most magical way to create a smooth flavor that somehow has a hint of vanilla to it. Be sure to use fresh-squeezed orange juice here; the difference is undeniable.
So cheers, readers! To health, happiness, friends, fun, and getting one step closer to checking something off the ol’ bucket list!
from Bobby Flay, Food & Wine, May 2014
For the ginger-mint syrup:
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 1/4 c. water
1/4 lb. fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 (3-in.) piece of orange peel
1/4 c. lightly-packed mint leaves
For the julep:
1 1/2 oz. bourbon
1 1/2 oz. freshly-squeezed orange juice
1 TBSP ginger-mint syrup
mint sprig, for garnish
1. To make the syrup, bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the ginger, orange peel and mint. Let the syrup cool completely, approximately 1 hour. Strain through a fine sieve before using. Syrup can be kept in a tightly-sealed container in the refrigerator up to 1 month.
2. To make the julep, combine the bourbon, orange juice, and ginger-mint syrup in a chilled julep cup or glass and stir well. Fill the cup with crushed ice and mix, spinning with a swizzle stick or bar spoon. Top with additional crushed ice and garnish with the mint sprig.
Yield: 1 drink