Weep no more: Mint juleps for Derby Day

Weep no more my lady. Oh! Weep no more to-day.

That’s right. There is no cause for weeping except perhaps when hearing the sentimental, Kentucky State Song, “My Old Kentucky Home,” played tomorrow preceding the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby. Oh, of course, if you bet a bundle and lost big, then by all means, bawl your head off.

Who will win the Derby? Well, the current, as-of-this-moment, favorite at 1542 Central Time, May 4, 2012, is Bodemeister. The 3-year-old comes from the stables of Ahmed Zayat, an Egyptian-born, New Jersey resident who made a very handsome fortune when he developed and sold non-alcoholic beverages to Heineken. Bode has lifetime earnings of $704,800, which if those were my earnings I would take them and go to some place tropical. Then again, I’m not a racehorse.

Who wins doesn’t really matter much to me. I would like to see a Triple Crown winner since there hasn’t been one since just before I left the Navy in 1978. That seems so long ago.

Honestly, I don’t know that much about horse racing even though I love watching it. I’ve only bet on horses once and didn’t win anything, but didn’t lose much either. I did work at a training track for horses one time selling beer, supervising some girls at the concession stands and filling in as bartender toward the end of the day. That was when I learned to make a mint julep, the traditional Derby Day drink. My first one turned out perfect, at least that is what the elderly rich lady said who ordered and consumed the drink. How many drinks she had before, I don’t know. She might have been hammered for all I know. But though it appears that I seemed to do that well, I thought I’d share my secret recipe for mint julep with you. Try it today and tinker with it until you get it just as you want it, not that you should have to adjust anything. By tomorrow you should be all ready for the party. Note: This is a recipe for just one drink. Should you want to make a pitcher, look it up. Sorry. Have a great Derby and, remember, weep no more my lady.

Pineywood Downs Mint Julep

2 1/2 oz. bourbon*

1 tsp. water

1 tsp. sugar**

5-6 mint leaves

Use a pestle, muddler or similar tool from your kit (not your tool kit unless it’s absolutely necessary then make sure there is no grease!) to gently press the ingredients. Strain into a glass filled with ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.

*Bourbon is a matter of taste, economics or both. Use whatever bourbon that tastes good and that you can afford. Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam Black, Rebel Yell are a few suggestions.

**If you are trying to avoid extra sugar then the equivalent amount of a substitute will not ruin your barkeep standing as long you don’t go blabbing it. That is, unless your guest asks for it.

Sound complicated? Then just have some bourbon and water then insert a mint sprig.