The mint julep dates back to 1803 London but since 1938 it has been pushed by the Churchill Downs as the signature drink of the Kentucky Derby. Every sporting even needs a signature drink and since beer is pretty much the drink of choice for everything else, why not have a sophisticated mix of bourbon and sugar and of course mint for the sport of kings.
According to Esquire Magazine's liquor experts, the original mint julep included a stiff belt of three ounces of French cognac. Obviously, you are NOT going to use any French liquor in your Kentucky Derby drink special. You will be using a good Kentucky bourbon.
The recipe itself is a simple. You put in a lot of mint, then some sugar, mixed it up with the bourbon of choice and add crushed ice.
The secret (don't tell anyone) is to crush the ice into a fine mash. Avoid the electronic appliances for this key task and bust out your hammer. Be sure to yield your hammer in front of the lady you are trying to impress, because every man knows that a woman can't resist a guy with a hand tool.
Remember folks, please drink responsibly. That means no drinking and driving and no drinking and betting either.
LOUISVILLE, KY: A bartender serves a mint julep prior to the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 1, 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)