Appetizers
May 4, 2011
Is your cocktail shaker ready for Saturday's Kentucky Derby?

For the food- and drink-centric, there's TheDailyMeal.com, a website devoted to "creating a complete food experience for cooks, food lovers, wine connoisseurs, discerning diners and everyone in-between."

Its latest missive addresses Saturday's running of the 137th Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the annual Triple Crown. Of course, what's a weekend of horse racing at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., without the signature cocktail, the Mint Julep?

If you're hosting a Kentucky Derby party at your place, TheDailyMeal.com suggests some drink options. The complete list of recipes is at www.thedailymeal.com/7-kentucky-bourbon-cocktails. Meanwhile, try these:

Kentucky B&B
Ingredients
2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce Benedictine, a French herbal liqueur
Directions
Pour the bourbon and Benedictine into a brandy snifter and stir.

Derby Cocktail
Ingredients
1 ounce bourbon
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce orange Curaçao
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
Directions
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice, shake vigorously for 30 seconds, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with lime.

Louisville Cooler
Ingredients
1-1/2 ounces bourbon
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 ounce orange juice
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
Directions
Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice, shake well and strain into an Old Fashioned glass half-filled with cracked ice. Garnish with a half-slice of orange.

Midnight Cowboy
Ingredients
2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce dark rum
1/2 ounce heavy cream
Directions
Combine ingredients in a shaker half-filled with ice, shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.

If nothing else will do but a classic Mint Julep, here's a solid recipe:

Mint Julep
Ingredients
3 fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon mint simple syrup
Crushed ice
1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) bourbon
1 4-inch cocktail straw
1 fresh mint sprig
Powdered sugar (optional)
Directions
Place mint leaves and mint simple syrup in a chilled julep cup. Gently press leaves against the cup with the back of a spoon to release the flavor. Pack the cup tightly with crushed ice; pour bourbon over the ice. Insert a straw, place mint sprig directly next to the straw and serve immediately. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

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