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Kick Off The Kentucky Derby! Juleps and Variations

The Kentucky Derby is scheduled for May 3rd and 4th, and Spec’s has everything you need except the seersucker suit! In the spirit of the race, here’s a traditional mint julep recipe, along with two variations to really get your Derby Day party running!


Traditional Mint Julep

5-6 mint leaves
1 tsp superfine sugar
3 oz bourbon

Put mint and sugar in bottom of a tall, chilled glass, muddle. Pack glass with crushed ice, pour the bourbon over the ice and stir briskly until frost forms on the glass. Add more ice, stir again, and top with mint sprigs.

Elderflower Julep

2 oz bourbon
1 ½ elderflower liqueur
1 oz lemon juice
½ oz agave nectar
10 leaves of mint

Muddle the mint and lemon juice in a tall glass, then add the agave nectar and elderflower liqueur. Stir to blend. Fill glass with crushed ice, stir, pour bourbon over the top, stir again, and add additional ice to fill the glass. Garnish with mint sprigs.
Of course, the Derby is immediately followed by Cinco de Mayo, so why not combine the two celebrations into one refreshing sipper!

Tequila Derby

2 barspoons superfine sugar
½ oz water
5-6 mint leaves
2 ½ – 3 oz anejo tequila
3-4 mint sprigs
crushed ice

Dissolve the sugar in the water in the bottom of a tall glass. Add the mint leaves and muddle. Pack the glass with crushed ice, then pour the tequila over the ice. Stir, then add more crushed ice (the tequila will settle some of the ice).


Owned and operated by the same Houston family since 1962, Spec’s is a true destination shopping experience. We now operate over 150 stores all over the great state of Texas and offer a large selection of wines, spirits and finer foods.

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