BourbonBlog.com‘s Tom Fischer was a judge in the recent Four Roses Julep Contest which is held annually in weeks prior to the Kentucky Derby. Varanese’s Rory McCollister won 1st with his Cherry Blossom Julep (recipe below and photo above), making it Rory’s second year in a row to win and the third time Varanese has taken top prize. Aaron Price of Maker’s Mark Lounge won 2nd place and Proof on Main’s Jenni Pittman won 3rd place. If you are a fan of Kentucky Mint Juleps during the Kentucky Derby, you will love these recipes and creations.
1st PLACE: Rory McCollister’s “Cherry Blossom Julep”
· 1 1/2 oz Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon
· 1 1/2 oz Dried Cherry Lemon Zest Gastrique
· Fresh Mint
· 2 oz Tamarind Soda
· 2 oz Ginger Ale
To make the Gastrique:
· Boil and reduce
· Dried Cherries
· 2 cups sugar
· 2 cups water
· Juice of 3 lemons
· Zest of 1 lemon
Using a large mixing glass, muddle gastrique and mint. Add bourbon and shake well. Pour into tall highball glass and top with equal parts tamarind soda and ginger ale. Garnish with candied ginger rose, mint sprig and lemon zest.
2nd Place : “The Perfect Finish” by Aaron Price of Maker’s Mark Lounge
1 1/2 oz Four Roses Small Batch
3/4 oz Amaretto Disaronno
Place an orange slice in the bottom of a rocks glass and add 1 dash of Angostura Bitters. Muddle. Fill glass with ice. Add 1 1/2 oz Four Roses Small Batch and 3/4 oz Amaretto Disaronno. Splash with Simple Syrup and Orange Juice. Take a sprig of mint, crush stem, and immediately place into cocktail with leaves hanging over the side. Lightly stir.
3rd Place: Julep Down Under by Jenni Pittman, Proof on Main, 21c
1.5 oz mango puree (combine flesh of 2 mango & 1/2 cup fresh brewed tea in blender, strain through fine mesh)
1 oz eucalyptus syrup (steep eucalyptus leaves, wrap in cheese cloth for easy removal, in 2 cups of almost boiling water for 10 min, add 3 tbl honey to sweeten)
2. oz Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
Gently muddle several mint leaves, add eucalyptus syrup, add mango puree, stir with spoon, add 2 oz Four Roses small batch, crushed ice, garnish with generous slice of mango and bouquet of mint leaves.
Other 2010 Four Roses Julep Contestants:
32 Social – Kyle Higgins
BBC – Joe Riggs
Jeff Ruby’s – Daniel Beam
Limestone – Emily Whitsett
Martini’s Italian Bistro – Gary Gruver
Sully’s – Josh Baxter
Volare – Kerry Gardner