“The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved “(originally published in Scanlan’s, June 1970)
Hunter S. Thompson
The Mint Julep
It is time once again to break out your tin mugs, your mint, your muddling stick, some sugar and some bourbon and begin to craft the consummate Mint Julep, that timeless drink which after about two or so, just seems to drink itself. A tradition at The Kentucky Derby, the Julep. is deceptive. Deceptive in its simplicity, deceptive in its drinkability (that first sip is a doozy, but life is pretty much excellent by the last sip.) It is not, however, deceptive in its boozeability. Saturday is the running of the 144th annual Kentucky Derby. I offer this recipe now to give you time to gather the fixings to make your Saturday afternoon a good ol’ southern’un.
Mint Julep Recipe
many sprigs of mint
a good, decent bourbon whisky
Place about six leaves or so of the mint, sugar and water in a large tumbler. Stir and press until the sugar is dissolved and flavor extracted from the mint. Fill the tumbler to the top with crushed ice. Add the whisky to about a half inch from the top. Stir vigorously. The outside of the tumbler will frost over. Add a floater of rum (an absolute necessity to set the proper mood.) Add a few more mint leaves to float on top to nuzzle and add to the sweet smell of the beverage.
Step 5: Enjoy.