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Spirits: Kentucky on My Mind

The glorious Mint Julep. (Julia Ewan -- The Washington Post)

If you haven't had your first mint julep of the year, Saturday seems like a fine time to do so. Because I was just in Louisville a few weeks ago for my feature on bourbon, I got to sample a number of great mint juleps and other Louisville specialties along what is called the Urban Bourbon Trail, a collection of bars specializing in bourbon (all of them with more than 50 different bourbon labels on hand).

You have to love any trail that includes a bar called Jockey Silks, but I really liked the bars at the grand old Brown and Seelbach Hotels and also at Proof on Main, where I did a bourbon tasting flight poured by Krista the wonderful bartender. Her favorite bourbon, the 114-proof Noah's Mill, nearly singed off my nose hairs (tasting note: "dragonfire").

Anyway, I'm certainly planning to invite a few friends over to watch the annual Run for the Roses on TV. The making of the first mint juleps for everyone may take longer than the entire horse race.

Last April in my column, I presented my own take on the Mint Julep, including a number of rules:

· A mint julep is an afternoon drink; never drink one after the sun sets.

· A mint julep is to be enjoyed by itself; never try to complicate it by mixing it with food.

· If you're from the South, no one up North will ever make a mint julep the right way.

-- Jason Wilson

By The Food Section  |  April 30, 2009; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  Recipes , Spirits  | Tags: Jason Wilson, bourbon  
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