Wine consultant Barry Alberts suggests that I start a regular “Wine Question of the Week” feature – posing trenchant questions and asking readers to comment. It’s a good way to get wine discussions going, he says.
Good idea, Barry. Here goes.
But, see, I’m violating the rules with the first question, because it’s not about wine. It’s about liquor.
The question: With the 134th Kentucky Derby coming up Sat., May 3, can it be argued that its official drink, the Mint Julep, is the worst mixed drink in history?
Could any other drink be as cloyingly sweet? The official Kentucky Derby Mint Julep recipe calls for equal parts of sugar and water, for gosh sakes -- then adds mint and Early Times Kentucky Whisky, a form of bourbon, the sweetest liquor on the planet.
And Early Times claims to sell 120,000 of them over the two days of the Derby and Kentucky Oaks race. By race’s end, the crowds must be dropping like flies from “sugar crash.”
Well, now the people who make Wild Turkey are entering the fray, arguing that their bourbon is better for mint juleps because it’s 101 proof, meaning 50.5 percent alcohol, compared to 80 proof/40 percent alcohol for the other stuff.
So what do you think, race/wine/julep fans? Are there any defenders of the traditional julep out there? Any votes for a different recipe?
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