Mint Simple Syrup Infusion for Mint Julep Recipe

Friends Drift Inn Farm – Recipes

Fresh Mint Sprigs Grow Your Own for Kentucky MInt Juleps Kentucky Derby Party!

All this week Friends Drift Inn is featuring Kentucky Derby Party themed posts, and celebrations of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Collecting mint was a morning ritual in our family, used for mint infusions, mint tea, salads, garnishes, and flavorings for dessert syrups. In my mint patch, I threw in spearmint, peppermint, applemint, and chocolate mint, letting the wildly aggressive plants fight it our for survival of the fittest. My mint infusion is unique to us, with the backbone mint being peppermint.

Mint Julep Syrup for Kentucky Derby Party Week

Grandma and I were very partial to the “Cincinnati Post”, when I was a kid. But in the weeks leading up to Kentucky Derby, somehow we always managed to see what the “Louisville Courier Journal” was up to.

A food writer, Lillian Marshall was one of the attractions. Ms. Marshall wrote a book, “The Courier-Journal and Times Cook Book” back in the day. Mom just happened to score one of these at a yard sale a few weeks back. The recipes are definitely “A Blast from the Past.” It took me back to spring days along the Ohio River.

Mint Julep for Kentucky Derby Party

For a moment my brow furrowed thinking back, remembering the intense rivalry between The Belle of Louisville and The Delta Queen, which docked in Cincinnati. The Delta Queen travelled the Ohio River behind the original Friends Drift Inn and if the golden antlers shone in the sunlight we knew the Queen had once again prevailed over the Belle. For Grandma and me, there was satisfaction in that.

“The Great Steamboat Race” is an integral part of Kentucky Derby Week. This year, the flooding has postponed the steamboat race. Such a pity.

But back to Lillian Marshall’s book. It contains a recipe for Mint Syrup – which is what makes the Kentucky Mint Julep so grand. (Well, of course there’s the bourbon too)

Mint Simple Syrup Infusion

Mint Simple Syrup can be made a few days ahead of time to increase the intensity of the mint flavors. Ms. Lillian called it “Mint Juleps en Masse.”

Yep, that works for me!

(I like to use this syrup in lemonade and even as a flavoring for Mint Julep Brownies)

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About Joyce Pinson

Joyce Friend Pinson is a regional farm-to-table columnist for the Appalachian-News Express. She is a local television host. Her column show and blog, Friends Drift Inn, explores food, gardening, and real life farm-to-table stories from the perspective of a baby boomer in Appalachia. Joyce has a background in agriculture, media, and small business. Joyce is an heirloom gardening addict and home canner. She has a penchant for big hats, pointy toed shoes, and bourbon. Along with her husband Charlie, Joyce really does live in a barn where they ballroom dance. And laugh. And cook. And giggle.