The Kentucky Derby is synonymous with bourbon, but this year I suggest drinking Basil Hayden’s Rye. The classic Kentucky Derby cocktail is the Mint Julep. The classic Mint Julep recipe calls for 2 ounces of bourbon, often Woodford Reserve. I, however, prefer to mix things up by incorporating Rye into my Mint Julep recipe and my spirit of choice is the Basil Hayden’s Rye.
What makes the Basil Hayden’s Rye so exquisite? It carries a nose of baking spices and supple fruit. Orange blossoms begin to permeate through this complex spirit as the Rye is allowed to open up and expand. Tasting notes offer intertwining notes of vanilla, caramel, and clove. All of these complex flavors bolster the traditional Mint Julep recipe and take it one step further.
Here is the non-traditional Mint Julep I’m proposing you try out this Kentucky Derby:
— 2 ounces of Basil Hayden’s Rye
— 2 cups purified crushed ice
— Fresh mint for garnish
— Mint-infused simple syrup
— Fresh powdered sugar for garnish
If you have a silver cup on hand that is the suggested glassware. However, a traditional highball glass will work just as well.