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Friday, April 30, 2010

Derby Day! Part One: The Mint Julep

Posted by Patrick Alan Coleman on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 10:26 AM

kentucky-derby_o8sq.jpg
Tomorrow is a magic day for gamblers, drinkers, and Southerners: It's derby day in America when the sun shines bright on our old Kentucky home and fortunes are made or lost to the tune of thundering hooves.

Whether you are lucky enough to be among the throngs at Churchill Downs, or have decided to watch the race from the comfort of a local off-track betting facility, it's necessary that you're sipping a classic mint julep before, during, and after the race.

But remember, the mint julep isn't just a drink, it's a ceremony:

The preparation of the quintessence of gentlemanly beverages can be described only in like terms. A mint julep is not the product of a FORMULA. It is a CEREMONY and must be performed by a gentleman possessing a true sense of the artistic, a deep reverence for the ingredients and a proper appreciation of the occasion. It is a rite that must not be entrusted to a novice, a statistician, nor a Yankee. It is a heritage of the old South, an emblem of hospitality and a vehicle in which noble minds can travel together upon the flower-strewn paths of happy and congenial thought.

Check out the entirety of the ceremony as written by S.B. Buckner, Jr. in 1937.

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