You can’t have a Kentucky Derby party without a slew of mint juleps.
But mixing up the mint-muddled concoction of bourbon and crushed ice can trap you behind the bar. While beverage pro Davy Butterworth spends Derby Day slinging juleps for the masses at Louisville’s Decca, he shares tips to free you from endless muddling and measuring when hosting your own get-together.
They start with taking a batch approach: A syrup makes quick work of infusing mint flavor, and putting the punch ingredients together early makes assembly a cinch when guests arrive. Dilution in a julep is key, so grab a mallet and take out your party stress on the ice until it’s broken down into small pebbles. And never skimp on the signature garnish: “The first thing you should notice is the mint, which almost overwhelms your senses,” Butterworth explains, so flick the sprigs against your wrist to release their natural oils before topping the drink.