April 30, 2018 – Next Saturday May 5 two of the biggest celebrations of the spring will happen on the same day: Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby – The stars will not align like this again until 2029.
Of course we went in search of a cocktail that would kill both birds with one stone, in a manner of speaking, and we found one. It is quite unique and magnificent and only costs $1,500 per serving!
Called the Agave Julep, it will be available in limited quantities in the Lobby Bar of The Brown Hotel, historically famous in Louisville for its Derby parties. The lavish Agave Julep cocktail will highlight two world-renowned ultra-premium spirits, Patrón en Lalique: Serie 2, which retails for $7,500 a bottle, and Old Rip Van Winkle 25-year-old bourbon, which could have cost anywhere from $2,000 to $15,000 a bottle. The cocktail is served in a custom gold-plated and engraved julep cup, and yes, you do get to keep the cup. What a trophy! But there is a good reason to splurge on this cocktail since a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Kentucky Humane Society’s Equine C.A.R.E. program, which finds safe homes and adopters for horses, as well as equine health clinics, and so on.
For the rest of us who won’t be traveling to Louisville next weekend, Patrón’s consolation prize is a Margarita that is a one of three finalists in the 2018 Margarita of the Year competition. It was created by Jorge Ortega from Los Angeles, CA so he named it LA Margarita. Plus we have two more Cinco de Mayo cocktails that are really easy to make using Montelobos Mezcal. So, three recipes in all.
For Derby fans who favor bourbon, check out the three julep recipes below from Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon. There’s one with agave juice, a sort of minor nod to Cinco de Mayo.
CINCO DE MAYO COCKTAILS
1.5 oz Patrón Reposado
.75 oz Patrón Citronge Orange
1 oz lime Juice
.5 oz lychee syrup
.5 oz ginger syrup (such as Monin or Ginger Reál)
Whole lychee for garnish
Sprinkle of chia seeds and salt for rim
Method: Combine liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice to chill. Strain onto fresh ice in a glass rimmed with a 50/50 blend of chia seeds and Kosher salt. Garnish with lychee.
1 part Montelobos Mezcal
1 part Ancho Reyes Verde liqueur
1 part fresh lime juice
1⁄2 part simple syrup
Method: Combine all ingredients and shake well. Serve over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wheel, mint sprig and avocado salt dust.
Lobo Solitario (The Lone Wolf)
2 part Montelobos neat
1 Hibiscus salt
1 Avocado salt
Red tomato slices
Green tomato slices
Method: Coat red tomato slices with hibiscus salt. Coat green tomato slices with avocado salt. Take a long slow sip of Montelobos, followed by a bite of tomato slice.
Continue sipping, savoring flavors of earth and smoke as the mezcal spreads its warmth from your lips into the very depths of your core.
KENTUCKY DERBY COCKTAILS
Blade and Bow Hudson Valley Julep
1.25 oz Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
.5 oz Manzanilla Sherry
.5 oz quality apple juice (fresher the better)
.25 oz chamomile & vanilla syrup (ingredient recipe below)
Apple slice, fresh mint, chamomile flowers for garnish
Method: Add all ingredients to a julep cup. Top with crushed ice and garnish with fresh mint, apple slice and chamomile flowers. Serve with a straw.
Ingredient Recipe: Chamomile and Vanilla Syrup recipe:
1 vanilla pod
2 tablespoons chamomile tea
1 cup (8 oz.) water
2 cups (16 oz.) sugar
Ingredient Method: Split the vanilla pod and scrape seeds into pot, add chamomile tea, sugar and water and mix together. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes. Strain through fine mesh strainer, bottle, label and store in refrigerator.
Charleston Inspired Blade and Bow Mint Julep
1.25 oz Blade and Bow Bourbon
2 oz loquat leaf tea (ingredient recipe below)
1 bar spoon simple syrup (1:1)
8 sprigs of mint (3 for garnish)
Mint bouquet, dehydrated lemon wheel (optional), 2 loquat leaves (optional) for garnish
Method: Add bourbon, tea, syrup, 5 sprigs of mint to julep mug and lightly muddle mint. Fill mug half way with crushed ice and swizzle. Top with more crushed ice and garnish. (Muddle a fresh loquat during the summertime, when they are ripe, for a brighter, fruitier variation)
Ingredient Method: Bring loquat leaves and water to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and leave mixture to cool for 10 minutes. Strain mixture through tea strainer and/or coffee filter (I used both). Store refrigerated in airtight container for up to a week.
Hill Country Julep
1 teaspoon peach jam or marmalade
½ teaspoon agave syrup (available in stores)
1.25 oz Blade and Bow
12 hand rolled spearmint leaves
Mint for garnish
Method: To a julep mug add about 12 washed and hand rolled spearmint leaves. Then add half a teaspoon of agave syrup and a heaping teaspoon of peach jam or marmalade and the whiskey. Stir the ingredients well before adding ice to give the marmalade a chance to dissolve into the whiskey. Add a heaping amount of crushed ice, and garnish with a beautiful bunch of fresh mint, so that every sip smells like heaven.
April 5, 2020 – A couple of nights ago, a TV commentator scolded the liquor industry for not stepping up to help ameliorate the hand sanitizer shortage. Truth is, spirits, beer and wine companies are rushing to retool their plants to produce required 60 to 80 percent alcohol, and working with local manufacturers to get the product free of charge to first responders, hospitals, police and firefighters, warehouse workers, delivery drivers and others in need of protection. In many cases, distillers are producing and bottling finished hand sanitizer Besides answering...