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  • Writer's pictureThe Grand Crew

Kentucky Derby Week is here, hide your liver!

As a native Kentuckian, I take knowledge of the Kentucky Derby as a given. So I am just going to assume, you the reader, have an idea of what the Derby is and why it's such a huge thing to a small city that isn't quite the midwest, the south or the north. There's a saying, something like the northernmost tip of the south or the most southern tip of the north. Or maybe that's Nashville, I don't really recall and am too lazy to attribute it correctly. When traveling abroad and I tell someone I am from Kentucky, the comment is usually met with "Ahh! The Kentucky Derby!" and then possibly a whinny thrown in for good measure. It's a great and somewhat strange icebreaker. Though recently I am more likely to hear, "Ahh! Bourbon!" Bourbon - the great leveler.

Monit Julep
The famous Mint Julep: a waste of bourbon?

Commonly associated with the Derby and bourbon, would be the mighty Mint Julep. May is Mint Julep month, for what that is worth! It's a pretty divisive drink, not so much love or hate. But more of a drink it at the Derby or turn your nose up at it and think it's a waste of bourbon. (Though technically, they used to be made with Early Times, which isn't bourbon). But you can get a Woodford Mint Julep and it's pretty much way better but also the same, a great waste of bourbon.

Old Fashioned
The classic Old Fashioned

None of this really matters as I am more curious as to the other mixed bourbon drinks people enjoy during this greatest mile and a quarter month. (The Derby is a mile and a quarter if you didn't know). My husband and I hide out on our back deck and make something like an old fashioned, but made with a local honey simple syrup and Angostura bitters. It's delightful and I am sure it has a name but we like to pretend we are mixologists and invented it.

Angostura Bitters
Angostura Bitters

So I have some questions for you because I am a curious gal; Do you watch the Derby? Do you have a preferred mixed bourbon drink if you are Derby-ing? If so, what? (There is no wrong answer to this question and tequila is acceptable as well. Just don't hassle me for mixing bourbon. It's not like I am mixing Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year with MR. Pibb). And does anyone know all of "My Old Kentucky Home"? It's kind of like Bachman Turner Overdrive's "Taking Care of Business" but if that was a state song. Everyone knows parts, but not all of either.

Waking up in Louisville the day after Derby can be a bit like waking up on New Year's Day and finding you have several bottles of leftover bourbon. What to do with the unopened ones? Visit and tell us all about them, we're here to help!



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