This particular entry is long overdue, but worthy of a post nonetheless.  A month ago, we celebrated my dear friend’s birthday, Kentucky Derby style–and had so much fun!  The menu was a Southern inspired team effort–and each person brought it!  The fare included: BBQ ribs, mac ‘n cheese, green salad with roasted beets and shallot vinaigrette, cornbread with honey butter–and of course, lemony mint juleps.  Here are some photos from the day, followed by the julep recipe (thanks to teammate Kerry Lee!).  

LEMONY MINT JULEPS from Summer Cocktails by Penelope Wisner
1 1/2 oz bourbon
1 1/2 oz mint syrup *recipe below
1 lemon wedge
1 sprig mint
Fill a highball glass with crushed ice, then add ingredients.  It will produce a small (but STRONG!!!) cocktail.  

*Mint Syrup: 
4 cups sugar
2 cups water 
bring to a low boil, stir to dissolve sugar–about 5 minutes, remove from heat to cool

1 1/2 cups tightly packed mint leaves: 
blanch herbs in boiled water, just til they wilt,  drain immediately then plunge into ice water bath.  Drain and squeeze out as much water as you can, chop coarsely.  

In small batches (to avoid explosions), put hot sugar syrup and chopped herbs into a blender and puree.  Strain into a container and store in the refrigerator. 

As a side note, we also had a kickass, DIY, photobooth (shout out to the boys at Dirty Fingers for donating a huge bicycle box to such a worthy cause).  It provided some serious entertainment….I highly recommend one for your next party!  A few tips to ensure photobooth success: 

  • use a camera that has a remote attachment and tripod
  • props make a huge difference
  • invite fun people to your party
Abide by those simple rules, and you too can witness the following shenanigans: 


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Filed under cocktails, parties

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