You know… the day when cocktails are rare? Or maybe they are more common than normal? Whatever.
There’s a reason.
It’s because: you can make this… and store it in your freezer… and take a few spoonfuls every single night this week. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. It’s like a total treat. You can consume it all at once or you can take a few tastes (yeah right) to wind down from the day.
And if I’m really being hopeful I will pretend that you’re reading this before work/school/life begins today, that you have everything on hand, and that you’re mixing it together as we speak (read?) so it will be readily available come 5PM. I will love you forever.
I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but this guy I live with thinks the Kentucky Derby is kind of a big deal. Like – life-altering big deal. He tracks the horses for an entire year leading up to the Derby and does related horse stuff like every day of his life. I guess it’s his hobby or something, and that’s fine… I just wish I was cool enough to be invited somewhere so I could place something ridiculously obnoxious on my head while wearing a dress and seven inch heels.
But I’m not soooooo… I tend to get extremely annoyed hearing about horse racing. I hear about it every single day of my life. I fall asleep while watching Bridesmaids for the 80th time on HBO and wake up to a horse race. We won’t splurge monthly for an extra movie channel, but we do have a channel dedicated to only horse racing. They have commentators and everything. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s my husband’s dream job.
So this is what I do on Derby day: drink mint juleps. I mean, the Derby itself is super exciting, even though I tend to get absurd anxiety attacks in suspenseful situations as such. But did you know that there’s like, a billion other races BEFORE the Derby? So yeah. That day calls for multiple mint juleps. This WEEK calls for multiple mint juleps. You have to prepare or… train, if you will. Get ready!
Cherry Mint Julep Slushies
serves 2 generously
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
15 fresh mint leaves + more for garnish
3/4 cup bourbon
3 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
To make the mint simple syrup: Add sugar and 3/4 cup water to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat just until it bubbles. Turn down to low for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit for 15-20 minutes until cooled. Remove mint.
Finely chop remaining five mint leaves. In a large measuring cup/bowl, combine bourbon, simple syrup, remaining water (1/4 cup) and cherry juice. Pour in a baking dish, then stir in chopped mint leaves. Freeze either overnight or for 6-8 hours, then scrape with a fork or spoon and place in a glass. Garnish with additional mint.
For granitas, add 1/2 cup more water, reduce the bourbon by 1/4 of a cup, and freeze overnight then scrape with a fork.
Note: if you are disgusted by my use of cherry juice in a mint julep, feel free to leave it out! Additionally, if the chopped fresh mint freaks you out, you can add whole leaves to the mixture and remove them before serving.
Oh and by the way I’m unofficially declaring this put-booze-in-your-recipes week because I, uh… accidentally on purpose and unapologetically did that to four recipes you’ll see this week.