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May 4, 2013

>Kentucky Derby Classic Cocktail -the Mint Julep- Can Star Every Day
By Francine Cohen

Creole Julep Tales of the Cocktail Official Cocktail 2009

Less than six hours from now those colts, geldings, and fillies will be bursting through the gate for the ride of their lives. As their owners and millions of viewers around the world, including those fortunate enough to get a ticket to be within spitting distance of the Winners Circle at Churchill Downs, watch the two most exciting minutes in sports, nothing pairs better with this experience than the classic Southern drink, the Mint Julep.

A simple mix of bourbon, cracked ice, sugar and mint, this refreshing drink has its heyday every year on the first Saturday in May. Interestingly enough, while it is best known for being the official drink of the Derby, Chris Morris, Master Distiller for Woodford Reserve Bourbon and American spirits historian notes, “The julep has its roots, surprisingly, in the Arab world. Centuries ago, there was an Arabic drink called julab, made with water and rose petals. The beverage had a delicate and refreshing scent that people thought would instantly enhance the quality of their lives.” When the julab was introduced to the Mediterranean region, the native population replaced the rose petals with mint, a plant indigenous to the area. The mint julep, as it was now called, grew in popularity throughout Europe.”

He continues, “The biggest change for the julep was the addition of American whiskey to the recipe. The flavorful American whiskey perfectly complemented the mint julep. The julep was quickly transformed into a mixture of water, sugar, mint leaves, and good American whiskey.”

According to culinary history, the drink’s popularity rose amongst those farmers rising at dawn on their farms in the eastern and southeastern United States. Along with the farmers getting up early, so too did the horse trainers who would mix up a julep the same way we reach for our coffee press or push that coffeemaker button.

“You see, the julep was originally a morning drink. It was the spirited equivalent of coffee in today’s society. Just the drink needed to get the morning started and the ultimate picker-upper,” explains Morris.

Through the years, the drink started showing up at regional horse races, where the mint julep made the transition from a morning drink to a “sipping” cocktail.

In keeping with tradition, Woodford Reserve®, as the Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby®, serves up over 140,000 juleps for horse race aficionados to sip at Churchill Downs between Oaks and Derby Day. In honor of the 89th year that the Kentucky Derby winner has been awarded the gold trophy just 89 of these discerning drinkers will be enjoying their juleps brushed with the Midas touch.

Celebrating the gold standard that Woodford Reserve has set by winning gold medals at every major spirits competition, Woodford presents the world’s most exclusive julep cup – the Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup. Each features exclusive gold-influenced ingredients and comes with a unique Golden Opportunity auction experience that puts the winning bidder in the Winner’s Circle on Kentucky Derby Day. Proceeds will benefit Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Center.

The cups were available for purchase online from April 15-May 2 at 79 Distinguished Cups were available for $1,000 each featuring a hand-engraved Thoroughbred and rider from atop the Kentucky Derby gold trophy and a gold-plated garland of roses. Available for auction with starting bids of $2,000, 9 Legendary Cups display a gold-plated Thoroughbred and rider medallion with brilliant cut diamonds. One Legendary Cup was also included in the Golden Opportunity auction experience package with an opening bid of $5,000. The winning bidder will present the trophy for the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby Day and also enjoy a private tour and dinner at Woodford Reserve Distillery plus a private tour of Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Center with a Hall of Fame jockey.

Owners of the Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup will enjoy their mint julep today featuring a unique set of gold-inspired ingredients: ice made of gold-filtered mineral water sourced from the easternmost reaches of Nova Scotia; mint leaves dusted with gold and grown in Woodford County, Ky.; Woodford Gold sorghum from Woodford County, Ky.; and gold medal-winning Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select bourbon. The 89 cups will be presented only on Kentucky Derby Day, May 4, 2013.

But this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an icy cold julep this evening, or any day, just because you don’t have the golden cup into which to pour it or a horse in the race; make yourself a julep at any time with Woodford’s Kentucky Derby commemorative bottle and it’ll be just like you were there. Riding for the roses.

Mint Julep
• 2 cups sugar
• 2 cups water
• Sprigs of fresh mint
• Crushed ice
• 2 oz. bourbon (your favorite brand)
• Silver Julep Cups

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of bourbon. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.



February 7, 2010

By Francine Cohen
All cocktails created by Esteban Ordonez

We’re New Orleans Saints fans at Inside F&B. And to celebrate the Saints’ first visit to the Super Bowl in their 43 year franchise history we’re offering up a few cocktails for you to serve on the big day, and all year long.

Why are we Saints fans? Well, first of all we appreciate the fact that New Orleans is the gracious host city to the annual drinks conference Tales of the Cocktail, a not-to-be-missed event if you care about spirits and cocktails; and we heartily applaud the restaurant and hospitality community there for bouncing back after Katrina and helping to boost the local economy by making NOLA a foodie and cultural destination once more. And then there’s our very private and personal reason for rooting for the Saints instead of that other team…after all these years we simply can’t forgive the Colts for sneaking out of Baltimore in the middle of the night and relocating.

So, it’s with great support that we present these DonQ rum cocktails created by Esteban Ordonez. Enjoy!

Black and Gold
2 1/2 oz Don Q Gold
1 oz Kahlua (or coffee liquor of your choice)
1/2 oz Cointreau (or triple sec of your choice)
1 lemon peel
1 scented clove

Fill a rocks glass with ice, gently pour in the Cointreau, followed by the Kahlua, run a lemon peel around the lip of the glass and put a scented clove through it. Slowly layer the Don Q gold over the ice to achieve a layered look. Serve with a short straw and the lemon peel and clove. (This drink is a modern take on the classic New Orleans Cafe Brulot cocktail.)

All Saints Punch
12 oz Don Q Cristal
4 oz St. Germain
8 oz Fresh orange juice
3 oz simple syrup
3 oz fresh lime juice
2 chilled cans of Sprite ( or citrus soda pop of your choice )
lime wheels for garnish

In a large container combine all the ingredients except for the Sprite, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve stir thoroughly and transfer to an ice filled pitcher.
Serve into iced rock glasses garnish with the lemon wheels and top of with a splash of Sprite.

Black and Gold Shooter
1 oz Kahlua
1 oz Don Q Gold

In a shoot glass pour the Kahlua first, and then carefully layer the Don Q.

Half Time Hurricane
1/2 oz. Don Q Gold
1/2 oz Don Q Limon
3/4 oz blackberry liquor
Layer the ingredients in a shot glass beginning with the Don Q gold, followed by the berry liquor, and top of with the Don Q Limon.

Saints Black
Equal parts:
Don Q Cristal
Don Q Coco

Shake all ingredients over ice and serve in shot glasses.