May 3, 2020
Happy Sunday love! Hope your weekend is FABULOUS...and, BOO, more here in Baltimore today. Seriously, rain, rain, rain, SUN, rain, rain, rain, SUN. If being sheltered in place is not bad enough!
Well, yesterday would have kicked off what would have been the start to the fabulous horse racing season! Yes, beautiful dresses, fancy hats/fascinators, the "whose who," cocktails, conversation, and a LOT of money on the table. Doesn't this outfit just FIT the bill?
I KNOW! This beautiful couture dress is designed by the fabulous Ella Pritsker of Ella Pritsker Couture, and this fascinator is just FASCINATING, right? This is designed by "Kentucky Derby hats to the whose who" Christine A. Moore of CamHats NYC. Beyond the Derby, her hats are well represented at ALL racing horse racing events. The creativity and uniqueness of their brands are what makes them absolute standouts in the industry...and I was so fortunate to model these racing "looks." I mean, look at this gorgeous hat too!
Another beauty you will see me wear SOON!
So, beyond wishing I was looking THIS BOUGIE yesterday, I, also, decided to try my hand at making a craft cocktail. Let me just say, this is an ABSOLUTE art! Let's see how much Janine can take on in a day!
In honor of the Kentucky Derby, I wanted to see if I could recreate the "Mint Julep." I have had one a long time ago and the person that made it, well, definitely NOT a bartender. I think I was super turned off at that point. And the whole muddling of the mint, ick, and simply syrup, sugar & calories! BUT, I wanted another go of it, so I did a little research and gave it a whirl.
First, and foremost, the BOURBON! I don't really go by the rule of "if you are mixing a cocktail, don't worry about the quality of the booze." Sorry - not me! I don't care if it is on the rocks, or mixed in a cocktail, it has to be GOOD QUALITY!
Speaking of bourbon, my research just led me to find out that "Woodford Reserve" is the OFFICIAL bourbon of the Derby. Pretty cool, huh?
The first thing I did was google recipes for HEALTHY syrups. And, since I am not a fan of muddled mint, I wanted to find one that included mint. I found one from the fabulous Fed & Fit which substitute white sugar for coconut sugar, and included 1/4 cup of packed mint.
Mint Simple Syrup
Combine 1 cup coconut sugar, 1/4 cup loosely packed mint, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil; whisk ingredients together; bring down to medium heat and wait about 3 minutes (or until sugar melts/dissolves completely). Let cool, strain syrup into a jar/container, and refrigerate.
Heads up! Coconut sugar is a light brown so this syrup is very dark which is going to lead to a darker cocktail!
Smoked Ice Cube
Yes, I have a client who just got a smoker for his birthday - check out my recent post about this - and he shared some smoked, square ice cubes that he made. Definitely NOT needed (crushed ice works beautifully) but it gave the cocktail a little pizazz!
Fit4Janine Mint Julep
Pour about 2 oz. of mint simple syrup into glass. Add ice. Pour another 2 oz. of GOOD QUALITY bourbon on top. Add a splash of cold water. Quick stir and adorn with a sprig of mint!
Definitely a MUCH better experience than my last one, but make sure to add the water (and stir). It will cut the booziness down a bit, and the bourbon will not be sitting on the top!
If you are like me, and prefer a less sweet drink, cut the simple syrup in half, keep same amount of bourbon, and add a little extra water. You may need to play around with this a bit to find the perfect balance for you!
Hope you enjoy! Cheers!
Seasons of Love
2 Health Nuts
'Tis The Season
Cheese & Charcuterie