Celebrate Kentucky Derby time with a sparkling Duplin Mint Julep

The mint julep cocktail has been a Kentucky Derby classic since at least 1938. Something like 120,000 juleps are served over the course of two days at Churchill Downs, but none of those mint juleps have the sparkling touch of Duplin Sweet Lily wine.

Good bourbon, fresh mint, a little confectioners' sugar and plenty of crushed ice are the keys to a great mint julep recipe, but the quintessential Kentucky Derby cocktail can pack a punch. It's definitely a slow sipper. Sweet Lily lightens up the alcohol heat but also adds distinctive muscadine sweetness. 

Mint juleps are easy to make. Muddle mint and sugar -- we went with the caramelly flavor of brown sugar -- then add bourbon and plenty of crushed ice. Cracking ice cubes by hand with a mallet produces larger chips that don't melt quickly and water down the drink. Really pack in the ice. Add Duplin Sweet Lily, a bouquet of mint sprigs for garnish and it's off to the races.

©2020 Duplin Winery. All Rights Reserved.