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Derby Day Drink

Try the famed mint julep at home with local bourbon

Those who thought they’d missed out on all the fun of this year’s Kentucky Derby can rejoice with knowledge that the traditional race has been rescheduled to Sep. 5. We’re saddling up for the big event locally with viewing parties like the sold-out Kentucky Derby Trolly Event hosted by South Cape Hospitality & Entertainment Associations. But it’s not too late to get in on the (socially-distant) fun at Track to Trail Thoroughbreds’ Derby Day Party—where you can meet the ex racehorses, sip cocktails and bid on auction items. You can also tune in with the Naples Junior Woman’s Club for a Virtual Watch Party—which the club is hosting in place of the annual Derby Dash. And of course, if you opt for an at-home viewing, we’ve got the perfect recipe for the iconic Derby-day drink that dates back to the early days at the historic Churchill Downs track that has famously hosted the event: the mint julep. This version of the sweet and refreshing libation uses bourbon from the List Distillery in Fort Myers.

Mint Julep 

What you’ll need:

  • 3 oz.  Mr. Toms Bourbon (for a twist to this classic recipe, substitute with Mr. Tom’s Habanero Honey Whiskey)
  • ¼ oz. simple syrup
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • 3 mint sprigs, far garnish

What to do:

  1. Combine bourbon, syrup, and mint leaves in a mixing glass. 
  2. Lightly muddle mint leaves 
  3. Strain contents into glass filled with crushed ice 
  4. Garnish with 3 generous sprigs of mint and serve

*TIP: Make sure to slap mint and insert straw into ice near mint.