Subourbon Mom

Mint Juleps and Other Signs of Spring
April 19, 2013, 5:46 pm
Filed under: Food/Drink, Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Spring has sprung in Virginia, and for those of you not living here, let me enlighten you as to what that means.  In Virginia we go straight from sleet to 90 degrees in three days. As a result, daffodils and hyacinths pop up like whack-a-moles in every suburban garden, and all the trees bloom at once, leaving the air smelling vaguely like shrimp.

Pollen (which I used to think of as some powdery fairy dust that sticks to bee’s feet as they flit from flower to flower) becomes a yellow miasma hovering over our town like mustard gas from WWI. It covers the cars, sidewalks, and driveways so thick that my black SUV looks like a Van Gogh painting—a blurry, black and yellow bumblebee bouncing from one sporting even to another. I pop Allegra-D pills like and Oxycontin addict, and suck on my legal crack pipe, er, inhaler, just to go to the gym.

But, spring also heralds certain rituals, which I forget about each year until they happen:  stinky soccer uniforms lay in heaps on the bathroom floor; there are new packs of gum in my car to chomp on during games (a last-ditch effort to keep from being THAT parent); fold-up chairs litter the trunk; saddle pads reeking of horse sweat (which daughter #2 swears is one of the best smells in the whole world—others beg to differ) lay forgotten on top of the chairs; Gatorade and white wine bottles fill the garage fridge. (That fridge is solely for the purpose of housing the many beverages we must have on hand for those days when “it’s just to nice to____________________. Let’s sit on the deck.”)

The final, end-of-spring symbol is The Kentucky Derby—that glorious first Saturday in May where 3-year-old horses come pounding down the backstretch as millions of fans and gamblers scream and cheer them on. It’s a day of joy (the bookies and winners) and tears (the unlucky gamblers and owners). It’s a day of silly hats, bow ties, and even more important, Mint Juleps.

Before I ever even liked bourbon, I knew the Mint Julep was a sacred beverage, one to be savored and evaluated each year. That golden nectar, poured over ice in a silver Jefferson cup and decorated with a mint sprig, meant the older folk weren’t watching what I was doing, and I would probably be able to steal an extra ham biscuit (or three).  It also meant time stopped for a full two minutes as we watched the race.

Time stopped.

These days, I catch myself hoping time will stop, sometimes so my girls will stay the way they are, safe at home with me, and sometimes so I can just catch my breath.  So this year, I’m going to hose the pollen off the porch, watch the Derby and pour myself a (second) Mint Julep.  Then, I’m going to turn off the t.v. and enjoy the hum of the bees on the azaleas and the interminable drone of the neighbors’ lawn mowers.

And as I fall asleep (bourbon does that to me), time will stop again.


My personal recipe for them is a little different, modified from another recipe I got out of Southern Living (I’m sure their mixologists would be horrified):

1 tsp brown sugar

2-3 oz. bourbon

Splash of ginger ale to taste

Mint leaves

Muddle brown sugar and mint on bottom of Jefferson Cup.  Add ice. Pour in whiskey, then add ginger ale to taste. Stir.  Repeat.

7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

My favorite Mint Julep recipe actually has no mint in it. It has no bourbon either. It goes like this:

Get a nice, plain Waterford Martini glass.
Fill it with ice.
Impale 3 pimentoed olives (not 2, not 4) on a nice toothpick.
Now get a martini shaker
Fill that with ice.
Fill the shaker the rest of the way with Hendricks gin.
Shake (don’t stir) for 12 seconds.
Dump ice out of Waterford Martini glass.
Replace it with strained gin from shaker.
Garnish with bayoneted olives.
Breathe deeply and sip with great reverence, honoring the juniper berries that died for our pleasure.

Now isn’t that so much better than nasty whisky,mixed with ham glaze and lawn weeds?


Comment by Bruce Anderson

By the way, what’s with the time stamp? GMT?


Comment by Bruce Anderson

Not sure what you mean…


Comment by libbyhall

Now that just sounds like a nasty, old-man martini! If I had to do something else I would:

Find favorite bottle
Find favorite bottle opener
Unscrew cork
Thanks the grapes that sacrificed their lives so I can be happy.


Comment by libbyhall

You really hit the nail on the head with VA weather! I’ve lived in VA since I was 5 and there really is nothing as unpredictable. I swear one morning in high school I woke up to frost on the ground and by the afternoon it was so hot and sunny that you could wear a tank top and shorts, and that evening it was gray and stormy! All I can do is shake my head and think “crazy VA weather”


Comment by foxywholefoodie

We actually had greenish-yellow rain yesterday, it was so bad!


Comment by libbyhall

[…] but I prefer Bourbon Slushies and the one I like to call, “Give Me My Figgin’ Bourbon” (see for the recipe).  Now that I’m in my 40’s, and antacids are a regular part of my diet, I have […]


Pingback by National Bourbon Month | Subourbon Mom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: