getty images
getty images

The oldest sporting event in America takes place the first Saturday in May every year. It's the Kentucky Derby, which is also known as "The Run for the Roses." The race will actually take place just after 6pm on the first Saturday in May. Which horses will be running and will this be a year of another 'Triple Crown' winner? Well, it will come down to the actual races and the horses to see if that will happen this year (or not).

There are a few traditions that go hand in hand with the Derby, Mint Juleps and big hats. As a fan of bourbon, I am thrilled to have a Mint Julep in May. It is the symbol of southern hospitality and this race. In fact, bourbon companies fight over who is going to be 'The Bourbon' of the race. If you are keeping track, it is Woodford Bourbon.

Here is how you can make a Mint Julep:

Mint Juleps (Sometimes they are available pre-made in a bottle that you can purchase, unless you have patience and fresh mint, go ahead and buy them)

Ingredients For Each Serving:
Mint leaves
2 tablespoons Mint Syrup (see recipe below)
Crushed ice
2 tablespoons water
2 ounces good-quality Kentucky bourbon
Fresh mint sprig

Preparation: Prepare the Mint Syrup.
Crush or muddle a few mint leaves in the bottom of an 8-ounce Mint Julep Cup (using the back of a spoon to crush mint leaves) until mixture forms a paste. Then fill the Mint Julep Cup 1/2 full with crushed or shaved ice. Add prepared Mint Syrup, water, and bourbon. Stir. To serve, garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.

Mint Syrup:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 bunch fresh mint sprigs
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Boil for 5 minutes, without stirring. Remove from heat and pour over a handful of mint leaves and gently crush the mint with a spoon. Refrigerator syrup mixture overnight in a closed jar. Remove mint leaves and continue to refrigerate. This syrup mixture will keep for several weeks.