5.02.2007

Putting the Mint in Mint Julep

It'll be a conundrum for cocktail lovers come Saturday ... drink margaritas to celebrate Cinco de Mayo or mint juleps to cheer on the Kentucky Derby horses?

If it helps make your decision a little easier, Vermilion has created a triple crown of variations on the classic mint julep, using three types of mint from the Eastern Shore's Davon Crest Farms, a favorite of local chefs. The juleps, pictured above, are named for past Derby winners.

Nepitella mint mixes with Basil Hayden’s bourbon in the “Affirmed” ($10) for a julep that's "more Earl Grey than whiskey," according to the restaurant. In the “Seattle Slew” ($8), mint julep mint partners with Van Winkle Special Reserve 12-year-old whiskey, which adds honey and light fruit flavor. And finally, the “Secretariat” ($9) takes the traditional Kentucky Colonel mint and pairs it with Wild Turkey Rare Breed.

Now all you need is a supersized hat.