American Pastime Cocktails: Mint Julep and Old Fashioned
Here at ICE, our mixology experts craft delicious cocktail menus for cocktail-themed special events — a creative, hands-on option for a group event with friends or colleagues. In anticipation of our new lineup of cocktail themes, we’re sharing recipes for a couple of classic, American cocktails from our American Pastime theme. Mix, sip and repeat!
The Mint Julep
Yield: one cocktail
The mint julep has been the signature beverage of the Kentucky Derby for nearly a century. Fact: each year, almost 120,000 mint juleps are served over the two-day period of Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby weekend at Churchill Downs Racetrack. That requires more than 10,000 bottles of Old Forester Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint and 60,000 pounds of ice!
- ¼ ounces raw sugar syrup
- 8 mint leaves
- 2 ounces bourbon
- Handful of fresh mint, stemmed removed
- Bitters (optional)
Glass: julep cup or rocks glass
- In your glass, gently muddle the mint and syrup. Add bourbon and pack glass with crushed ice.
- Stir until the cup is frosted on the outside.
- Top with more crushed ice to form an ice dome and garnish with a few drops of bitters (if desired) and lots of mint
* Pro tip: Gently muddle, so as not to bruise the mint and make it bitter. The more mint you garnish with the better — it’s there for the aromatics as you sip the drink. Get metal julep stirrers that have a straw/spoon combo to go through the ice.
The Old Fashioned
Yield: 1 cocktail
- 2 ounces rye bourbon or straight rye whiskey
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
- 1 brown sugar cube
- 1 orange peel
Glass: rocks glass
- In a glass, add the syrup, bitters and orange peel.
- Use a muddler to gently press the orange peel to release the citrus oils.
- Remove orange peel, then add the whiskey and stir. Add ice cubes and stir again.
- Place orange peel on top of ice to garnish.
*Pro tip: Originally, an old fashioned cocktail could be made using any spirit — so you can use your preferred spirit, too! Don’t like whiskey? Try gin, rum, brandy, mezcal, tequila…you name it.
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