Georgia Magazine - April 2017 - 39
COURTESY CALLAWAY GARDENS
2017 Steeplechase and
Derby Day events
work for Reigler. It's got to be silver,
she says, and she notes that there are
silversmiths all over Kentucky who
make the correct vessel.
The ice should be crushed, but
not so much so that it becomes slush.
Danny Fernandez, mixologist at Decatur's The Pinewood, hand-smashes
the ice for a mint julep.
"The hand-crushed ice gives a
better texture" than ice crushed with
a machine, he says.
For making juleps on-site, bring
the ice whole and a wooden or metal
mallet, wrapped in a clean towel, to
crack it up just before making the
Ultimately, as Reigler notes,
perhaps the best julep is one made
per the instructions of famed Louisville Courier-Journal editor Henry
Pluck the mint gently from its
bed, just as the dew of the evening
is about to form upon it. Select the
choice sprigs only, but do not rinse
them. Prepare the simple syrup and
measure out a half-tumbler of whiskey. Pour the whiskey into a well
frosted silver cup, throw the other
ingredients away and drink the
And may the best horse win!
Jane F. Garvey is a freelance food,
wine and travel writer from Decatur.
COURTESY PIEDMONT ATHENS REGIONAL FOUNDATION
Above: Thoroughbreds race at the Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain. Right: Homemade pralines are on the
menu at The 1919's Mint Jubilee, a benefit
for women's and children's services at
Piedmont Athens Regional.
The mint julep is the official Kentucky Derby drink. Entirely American, its earliest reference appears in
Virginia-without mint in 1787 and
with mint in 1803. Sen. Henry Clay of
Kentucky is said to have introduced
it to fellow politicians at the Williard
Hotel's Round Robin Bar. This recipe
comes from the official Kentucky
Derby website, kentuckyderby.com.
* Atlanta Steeplechase, April 22, Kingston
Downs, near Rome. atlantasteeplechase.org
* 25th Annual Derby Party Fundraiser, May 6,
Glen Arven Country Club, Thomasville.
* 35 Years of Derby Day 2017, May 6, Chastain
Horse Park, Atlanta. derbyday.com
* The 1919's Mint Jubilee-A Derby Day Event,
May 6, Historic Smithonia Farm, Colbert.
* Kappa Derby, May 6, Georgia International
Horse Park, Conyers. kappaderby.com
* Kentucky Derby, May 6, Churchill Downs,
Louisville, Ky., kentuckyderby.com
* Madison-Morgan Conservancy Derby Day,
May 6, Historic Godfrey-Hunt House,
* Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens, Nov. 4,
Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain.
Make 1 julep at a time by filling
a silver cup with crushed ice, then
adding 1 tablespoon of the mint simple syrup and 2 ounces Old Forester
Kentucky Bourbon. Stir rapidly with
a spoon to frost the outside of the
cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh
mint. Makes enough simple syrup for
The sweetness of the mint julep begs for some counterpoint,
and spiced pecans will get it done.
Crank up the heat to suit your personal preference. These proportions
are pretty mild, so increasing all the
spices might not be a bad idea.
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Sprigs fresh mint
Old Forester Kentucky Bourbon
Silver julep cups
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups pecan halves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or ancho chili
Pinch coarse sea salt
Make a simple syrup by boiling together sugar and water for 5
minutes. Cool and place in a covered
container with 6 or 8 sprigs of fresh
mint, then refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Place butter in a flat pan with sides
and place it in oven just long enough
to melt the butter. Scatter pecans
over the butter, and sprinkle with the
The Official Kentucky Derby
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