Saturday, May 5, 2018

Spring Holidaze

Today we have two holidays.  It's  Derby Day and Cinco de Mayo (Fifth of May).  Derby Day is the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the Triple Crown.  Ladies get dressed to the nines, gents wear a suit and tie.  The hats on the ladies are really something to see.

Cinco de Mayo celebrates the victory of Mexico over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1868.  It was an all day fight, but the Mexicans kicked some serious froggy ass that day and sent the cheese eaters back to gay Pairee.  These days you'll see parades and a whole lot of drinking and dancing, with Mexican food to keep your energy level up.

The cocktails you'll want to be aware of and serve are the Mint Julep and the Margarita.  Both are excellent.

When a Kentucky colonel seemed to have a bit of trouble ambulating, one gentleman remarked that it seemed the colonel had imbibed in a bit too much julep, to which a Georgia Cracker responded with, "Down here, sir, we refer to that as being in mint condition."

Mint Julep

1/4 oz Raw sugar syrup or 1 teaspoon plain old white sugar. I use white sugar. Sue me.
8 Mint leaves. If you can't count out eight leaves, you are in mint condition and do not need another julep.
2 oz Bourbon. There's all kinds of bourbon. For a nice julep, I'd choose one of these three depending on how much I wanted to spend and how particular I was feeling that day: Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond, Eagle Rare 10 Year Single Barrel, Woodford Reserve, Wild Turkey 101.  Okay, that's four.  Each one is delicious in its own way.

How to make The Mint Julep Cocktail:
  • If you actually own a Julep cup, you already know all this. Otherwise, here's the assembly process.
  • In a Julep cup or rocks glass, lightly muddle the mint and syrup. Use a short, heavy bar glass, what we used to call a highball glass. I don't know what they call it now. Use anything you can find in the kitchen as a muddle stick. I've used a shot glass to muddle with.
  • Add the bourbon.
  • Throw some rocks on top, crushed or not.
  • Stir until the glass is frosted on the outside.
  • Put a few drops of bitters on top if you like.
  • Garnish with a sprig of mint.

1 dash of bitters (optional)
1 mint sprig


2 oz Blanco tequila. I recommend Two Fingers tequila, which is cheap and smooth.
2 oz Fresh lime juice. Using fresh lime juice makes a big difference.
2 oz Orange liqueur. Take your choice, but I use Triple sec, (meaning "Triple distilled"). If you decide on Triple Sec, test drive it before you serve it - not all Triple Sec brands are alike! I got hold of some Triple Sec once that caused me to throw away my cocktail and return to the liquor store for a different brand.
Agave syrup to taste. You can use bar syrup, but Agave tastes better.

How to make the Margarita cocktail:

  • Throw everything into your cocktail shaker and shake the hell out of it. If you want it straight up, strain it into a chilled margarita glass, or use a large chilled martini glass.
  • Some people like salt on the rim. I don't, and I do not recommend it. Still, if you or your guest insists on the salt, wet the rim of the glass and dip it into regular old table salt. You can use special margarita salt if you like, but it really isn't worth the trouble unless you're trying to impress someone.
  • Garnish with a slice of lime.
Have a great holiday!


Bob G. said...

Mad Jack:
---Special days notwithstanding I do like both of those drinks.
The margarita is a nice cocktail (hold the salt, please).
Just gimme the deal straight up.
---Now, when it comes to bourbon, that mint julep does the trick every time.
(and to think I first heard about a mint julep when I saw GOLDFINGER in a REAL theater as a young teen...heh.)
That goes back a ways.
Bourbon also works wonders for me in the morning coffee.

Thanks for the recipes.

Stay safe (and relatively sober) out there, boss.

Mad Jack said...

Thanks, Bob. Two fingers of Gentleman Jack, please. Straight up, water back.