Saturday, May 03, 2008

Mint Julep Memories

Today is the Kentucky Derby. Brings back some rather unpleasant memories of one of my first dates with Tom. He had planned a surprise overnight getaway to the Derby which was sweet because he knew I loved horses. I had never been before and of course I imagined it similar to the movie Pretty Woman, where everyone's dressed in fancy dresses and wide brimmed hats. I'm not a fancy-dress-wide-brimmed kinda gal but I wore a cute sun dress and spent quite a while fussing with my naturally curly hair so it looked smooth and pretty. Remember this was one of our early dates so I actually put a lot of effort into looking nice. Little did I know our tickets were in the in-field aka: sweaty drunken, cesspool of in-breeding (I'm kidding about that but there were a LOT of drunks.) Within 5 minutes of staking out our spot in the muddy lawn, a fat naked man slipped off his make shift slip and slide and slammed into the people next to us sending their beers into my face and hair. (very similar to this but be warned there's some foul language in this clip.)

I tried so hard to keep it together but I couldn't. I wanted Tom to think I could hang and be cool with all the sweat and mud and smells but there was no hiding it, I was miserable. And I think he realized early on that this was NOT my cup of tea. He helped me dry off as best he could but I was sticky and smelled like warm beer and a little pee too. When I looked in my compact (of course I brought my cute crocheted purse which absorbed beer like a sponge) the hair that I had spent close to an hour straightening sleek and glossy now made me look like a side show freak. Part of one side was still somewhat straight but the other was a hot mess of frizz and beer soaked curls. And that's when I lost it. I started to pack up my stuff and asked Tom for the car keys. He said there's no way he's letting me leave and I told him that I was just going to sit in the car until this frat party's over. He said "No way Jose!" and I responded with something equally as mature like, "You're not the boss of me!" and got up and walked away. He followed after, pleading for me to "give this another try" (to which I ignored him) and then, "we'll sit somewhere else" (again I ignored and kept on walking) and then finally, "have you ever tried a mint julep?" (pause) "Come again?" And the rest is history.

After a couple of juleps, fat naked man wasn't the only one slamming into people off the slip and slide. Good times.

So in memory of that fine day in May of 1996, here's a classic Mint Julep recipe for you all to enjoy. Just don't hold me responsible for whatever it is you enjoy doing after a couple of these...

Happy Derby Day!!!

Classic Mint Julep
1 lemon, rinsed
About 2 teaspoons sugar
5 fresh mint sprigs (3 to 5 in.), rinsed and drained
About 1 1/2 cups crushed or shaved ice
1/4 cup bourbon
About 2 tablespoons club soda
1. With a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife, pare a 2-inch strip of peel (yellow part only) from the lemon, then cut into long, thin shreds. Cut lemon in half and rub 1 cut side on the rim of a glass (10 to 12 oz.) to moisten; save lemon for other uses. Pour 2 teaspoons sugar on a small plate and dip moist glass rim in it to coat evenly, then pour sugar into glass.
2. Add 4 mint sprigs to glass. With a wood spoon, crush mint sprigs with sugar to bruise the leaves and release the herb's flavor. Fill glass with ice. Add bourbon, then fill to rim with club soda. Let stand until glass is frosty, about 2 minutes. Garnish with lemon peel and remaining mint sprig. Sip julep through a straw, adding more sugar to taste.

Makes 1 serving

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 182(1% from fat); FAT 0.2g (sat 0.0g); PROTEIN 0.8g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; SODIUM 14mg; FIBER 1.6g; CARBOHYDRATE 11g


karengberger said...


The Triple Crown races (and the Tour de France) are my FAVORITE sporting events, ever, period. I can hardly deal with the adrenaline of the Derby, I love it so much. As a kid, I loved to ride horses, and I liked to go fast. There is something so awesome and visceral about those races. I am amazed that you posted this, because my mom and I are the only two people I know who care about the Derby.

Never had a mint julep; it sounds yummy. Thanks for the recipe.

Anonymous said...

I HATE big crowds, which is one reason I've never been to the Derby. Sad huh? I love your story. What do you use to get your hair straight now? Mine is naturally curly too and a pain in the arse to straighten. I need to try out a Mint Julep sometime.

Smileygirl said...

So Karen, I guess I know what you'll be doing at 3:04 pm today!!! I get nervous watching the Tour de France because they are going sooo fast and are literally on top of each other, that it makes me panic. There is such an adrenaline rush about the Derby that is so thrilling. Did you see the horse called Tale of Ekati this year? I guess it means Tale of the Cat but scramble the letters and look what you get! My money's on this guy! I will root for him and raise my Mint Julep to toast to you and Katie.

Mindy, I have used EVERY product under the sun for my hair. What I found is that most stuff really dries out my hair. I love the Fekkai glossing creme, but just use a little before you blow dry (otherwise your hair will blow dry funny) and then you can always add more after it's dry to smooth it down. It helps control frizzies very well. I also got Philosophy's restorative smoothing serum which I alternate with the Fekka product. I use a round brush and Ionic hair dryer on high setting and then I finish with a Hai straightener. Then I spritz on a little Fekkai shine spray and finish with hair spray if there's any humidity in the air and 2.3 hours later I'm done! From start to finish it's about 45-60 minutes if I want my hair REALLY straight. Lately I've just been drying the top and sides and pull the rest into a low ponytail and leave curly. That takes about 7 min. total.

Lizy said...

Once again, great anecdote! Your drink sounds a lot like my addiction: mojito!

ChiTown Girl said...

Is that goofy picture from the MaxiGlide website. I bought myself one a couple of years ago, and I could NOT love it more! I'm still amazed that this is actually a product that works exactly the same in real life as it does on the infomercial! LOVE IT!!! You know how crazy-curly-wild my hair is, and this thing makes it stick-straight in a single pass. AMAZING!

KBL 2 ORD 2 SAN said...

How funny that we all want what we don't have. You know what I'd do for curls? Sheesh. You don't even know.