For Kentuckians, the first Saturday in May is a celebration not only of horses, but of identity. Gatherings of ‘kith and kin’ form across the state and we are reminded of our land, heritage and yes, our bourbon. The recognized drink of the day is the mint julep, which in itself traditionally used the first blooms of this hearty plant to usher in the spring. BourbonBlog.com offers a fun alternative to this classic that you can make, using seasonal ingredients and very host-friendly.
The following is a recipe that is meant to be made by the pitcher, so that you can enjoy the day with your guests. Food-grade essential oils can be found at your local new-age shop and pack a lot of punch in very small proportions. As with all ‘pre-batch’ cocktails, you also can adjust the proportions to fit your own palate, so we encourage you to play with our base recipe as you seem fit.
Derby Party Strawberry Lavender Punch
In a 2 quart pitcher:
¼ bottle of Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
Strawberry Simple Syrup, to taste
Juice of 2 lemons
8 ozs Soda Water
1 drop of Lavender Essential Oil
Combine all, and serve ice to the side (the pitcher will become watered-down over time!)
Strawberry Simple Syrup:
1 quart Strawberries, whole
1 quart water
approximately 2 cups sugar
Bring water and strawberries to boil. Reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and filter out the strawberries in a civ or mesh strainer. Return to the stove and add sugar , stirring until dissolved.
Article written and cocktail recipe created by BourbonBlog.com’s Beverage Consultant Chef/Mixologist Stephen Dennison.