Yes, Cinco de Mayo falls on a Sunday this year, but don't forget about Saturday: Derby Day. That's when you can swap out the tequila for the bourbon to make the mint juleps that have been served at the Kentucky Derby, America's big horse racing competition, for almost a century.
The mint julep is a simple cocktail of good Kentucky bourbon, crushed ice, sugar and sprigs of fresh mint — all served up in shiny silver julep cups, of course.
You can keep your Derby Day festivities traditional, sipping them exactly as the lavish hat-clad people at Churchill Downs will. But some bars also offer fun variations that you can replicate for your own Derby Day party with these recipes. Note that all of them serve one, so you'll need to proportionally batch up the quantities to get larger servings.
1 1/2 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. simple syrup
1/4 oz. absinthe float
5 mint leaves, as well as a mint sprig for garnish
Muddle mint leaves, then build the cocktail with the remaining ingredients, sans ice, in julep cup. Top with crushed ice.
— Austin, Texas's Peche
1 oz. Batavia Arrack Rum
1/4 oz. Cognac (Pierre Ferrand 1840)
1/4 oz. ginger syrup or liqueur
1/4 oz. Velvet Falernum
4 sprigs of Thai basil, as well as an extra sprig for garnish
Gently muddle the Thai Basil with the ginger syrup or liqueur and the falernum. Add the remaining spirits with crushed ice and swizzle to incorporate until the julep cup is frosty.
Top with additional crushed ice and garnish with a sprig or two of fresh Thai basil.
— Austin, Texas's Drink.Well.
MORE YOU MIGHT LIKE:
Kentucky Derby 2019: What to know and how to watch