The mint julep stands proud as the beverage known as Kentucky's signature drink. Unless you're new to the area or haven't been paying attention, you know the julep is synonymous with the Kentucky Derby.
What you might not know, however, is that the mint julep's history traces back to a rose water drink in the Middle East.
WKU Public Radio's Kevin Willis in 2010 visited the famous Seelbach Hotel in Louisville to learn the history and proper preparation of the famous drink. Cole Phelps, who at the time served as the head bartender at Max's Bar on the hotel's second floor shared his favorite recipe for drink:
Put 12 mint leaves in a glass, and add 3/4 oz. of simple syrup, which is made with equal parts sugar and water. Muddle gently, without tearing the leaves.
While that sits, crush ice with a mallet. Add ice to glass, then pour in 2 1/4 oz. of your favorite bourbon.
Add more ice to fill glass to the top. Pour in 1/4 oz more of the syrup on top of the ice, then garnish drink with mint.