Mint Julep Chicken Crostini

Mint Julep Chicken Crostini

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Bourbon-marinaded chicken with mint and cucumber on a thin bread round. Fun party fare for Derby Day – or any day!MORE+LESS-


1 1/2

pounds chicken tenderloins


tablespoon worcestershire sauce

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  • 1

    Slice the tenders into thirds. Mix all the marinade ingredients. Marinate chicken in sauce for one to two hours.

  • 2

    Slice the bread into rounds and toast on both sides. Slice the cucumber into rounds. Rip the mint leaves off the stalk and remove any larger stems.

  • 3

    In a hot frying pan, add the chicken but do not add the excess liquid. Sear the chicken on all sides and cook about 5 minutes. Add the remaining marinade and cook another 5-8 minutes until the sauce has thickened and browned and the chicken is cooked through.

  • 4

    Top the bread with a mint leaf, a cucumber slice and a chicken chunk. Serve immediately.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • Kentucky Derby or not, these Mint Julep Chicken Crostini bites are perfect for any party.

    I think that mint is the most underutilized herb in the American kitchen.

    We have adapted it into our desserts and drinks, and it occasionally makes an appearance alongside lamb, but I just love mint in savory dishes of all types. I really started liking it when I was eating a lot of Vietnamese noodle salads, so I started integrating it into all sorts of dishes.

    This Mint Julep Chicken Crostini takes a page from that noodle salad, pairing the mint with a cucumber, but that is where the similarities end. It mostly follows the mint julep flavor profile, with some sweetness and bourbon in the chicken marinade and the fresh mint on the bread to give it just the right bright bite.

    Marinade the chicken with some bourbon, honey, and Worcestershire sauce. Then brown it up at a high heat.

    Meanwhile, prep the other ingredients.

    Assemble the appetizers – bread, mint, cucumber and chicken.

    Such a fresh and unique bite of food. The perfect app for your Derby Party!

    Dan Whalen doesn't love mint juleps, but loves this dish. He has been blogging for over 6 years at The Food in My Beard. Check Dan's Tablespoon profile often to try his recipes with a creative international spin.

June 2011 Table of Contents

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Ice, drinks, and a classic cooler make for an instant backyard party: Just add friends.

Our highly opinionated, thoroughly practical summer cooking manifesto.

In boil, bun, or bisque, there's nothing like sweet American shrimp.

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Simple summer recipes from the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen.

Learn your CSAs : good-for-you recipes using farm-fresh vegetables.

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Mint is a great complement to this easy fall side dish.

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Spring 2021 Hope at Home Recipes

We’ve gathered our favorite seasonal ingredients to create these bright and refreshing spring recipes! Whether you’re searching for your new go-to cocktail recipe, or need a colorful appetizer that will impress your guests, we’ve got you covered.

Grapeful Greyhound

Serves 4 // Time: 20 minutes


-2 cups fresh grapefruit juice (about 4 grapefruits)

-1/2 grapefruit, cut into wedges


  1. Combine grapefruit juice, pinot grigio, gin and agave nectar in a pitcher and stir until combined. Fill pitcher with ice, and garnish pitcher with grapefruit slices and 4 thyme sprigs.
  2. Fill serving cups with ice. Garnish with 1 grapefruit wedge & 1 thyme sprig, and pour cocktail over ice.

Fennel Asparagus Soup

Serves: 6-8 // Time: 1 hr, 15 minutes


-1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced

-3 lb. fresh asparagus, bottom woody end removed & cut into 2 inch chunks

-2 (32 oz) containers chicken or vegetable broth

-3 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed

-1 tbsp. fresh thyme + extra for garnish

-Parmigiano reggiano shavings for garnish (optional)

*Note: coconut milk is a tasty substitute for the yogurt to make this recipe dairy-free!


  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add in onion, fennel and asparagus and sauté for 8 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  2. Add chicken broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool down before adding to blender. Puree until smooth. Add back into soup pot to reheat and taste for seasoning before adding salt & pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup greek yogurt with ¼ cup fresh lime juice.
  4. Ladle into soup bowls and drizzle about 2 tbsp. of the yogurt mixture into each bowl. Gently use a toothpick to swirl the yogurt sauce throughout the soup for a marbled look. Garnish with fresh thyme & parmigiano reggiano shavings (optional).

Spring Roll Bar

Serves: 6-8 // Time: 30 min


-16 Rice paper sheets / spring roll wrappers

-1 cucumber, peeled & julienned (sliced into short, thin strips)

-2 cups purple cabbage, thinly sliced

-1 red bell pepper, julienned

-1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

-1/2 cup fresh green onions


  1. Lay all sliced vegetables & herbs on large cutting board or serving platter, with sauces in small bowls.
  2. Fill a large circular plate with water, and lay a damp cheesecloth over a cutting board, tucking the cloth under the board so that the cloth is tight across the top. To begin to assemble rolls, dip each rice paper sheet in the water for about 8 seconds, and then lay on the damp cloth. Build each roll with any combination of the vegetables & herbs, making a pile in the center of the roll, leaving about 2-3 inches of open paper around the fillings. To roll, fold one side over the pile of toppings, and tuck under the toppings pile. Fold both sides of the sheet over the toppings, and then slowly roll mass of fillings to seal with last side. The rice paper should be sticky & somewhat stretchy, which should allow you to achieve a tight seal.

Celebration Brut Mint Julep

Serves 2 // Time: 25 min

Cocktail Ingredients:

Mint Simple Syrup Ingredients:

-1/4 cup packed mint leaves


  1. Combine mint leaves, water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat and let the mixture steep & cool for 20 minutes. Strain mint out of the mixture with a fine mesh strainer.
  2. Fill serving cups up to the brim with crushed ice.
  3. Add bourbon, 1 shot of simple syrup and Celebration Brut to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice cubes. Shake 15 seconds and then strain the liquid into serving cups. Garnish each glass with a sprig of mint.

Lavender Mascarpone Lemon Bars

Serves: 12 // Time: 1 hr, 45 minutes

Crust Ingredients

-3 sticks unsalted butter, melted

-1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

-1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

Filling Ingredients

Lavender Mascarpone Ingredients

Crust Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a half sheet pan (standard cookie sheet) with parchment paper.
  2. Combine melted butter, flour, granulated sugar, graham cracker crumbs and salt in a bowl and combine until it has a crumbly consistency (similar to wet sand). Spread evenly across the sheet pan, using a measuring cup to create a smooth & even layer. Bake in oven for 20 minutes until light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

Filling Directions

  1. Whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract, lemon juice & zest in a mixing bowl. Slowly mix the sugar next, and finish with the flour. Whisk together until combined. This order of mixing ingredients avoids lumps forming in the filling.
  2. Pour filling over the crust in an even layer. Bake in oven for 30 minutes, until filling is firm.

Lavender Mascarpone Directions

  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan and add in dried lavender. Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain lavender from butter using a fine mesh strainer. Set butter aside.
  2. Place mascarpone cheese and lavender infused butter in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and mix until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the powdered sugar in small increments, and mix until smooth.
  3. Cut the lemon bars into squares and spread lavender mascarpone over the surface of each.

Share Your Creations on Social

We hope you love these recipes as much as we do! Try them at home and snap a photo tagging @onehope on Instagram so we can admire your beautiful masterpieces. We can’t wait to see what you cook up!

Garden-Themed Kentucky Derby Party!

We’re off to the races with this colorful Garden-Themed Kentucky Derby Party brought to us by our friend Sarah of Sarah Sofia Productions ! As a fellow southerner, there is nothing more I love than a Derby-themed soiree, especially with so many darling garden touches! I’m so thrilled that Sarah is sharing all the party details with us so you can be inspired to style your own party for the races!

PARTY DETAILS BY Sarah Sofia Productions

Whether you’re throwing a Kentucky Derby party, Derby inspired wedding, or hosting a tent at a horserace this spring, you’ll love this Derby inspired party!

Spring is in the air and this Derby Garden Party has us wanting to celebrate with bright pastel colors, fun and flirty dresses, designer hats, and a bite size Derby inspired menu.

This Garden Party took place on Breezy Meadows Farm with lots of rustic charm and of course beautiful horses.

Sarah Sofia Productions mixed and matched highs and lows to create an electric garden party look such as faux white bamboo chairs and blush and blue napkins and blue and white table linens from Classic Party Rentals, with blush and gold plates and pastel vintage glasses from Anthropologie. Adding miniature horse and jockey figures, spray painted gold to each place setting made them festive! You could even use them as place card holders if you wanted a more formal setting arrangement.

The centerpiece was lush and full of spring blooms and a beautiful large succulent arranged in a wooden crate by The Flower Diva. This look is modern, yet rustic with the wooden crate and horse and jockey gold figure displayed on top. Fresh mint flower arrangements were displayed in silver mint julep cups on the food table with plastic horse figures spray painted gold.

Speaking of mint juleps, this peach mint julep displayed in Cheers Y’all Mason jar mugs from Shutterfly was a guest favorite! Adding a twist on the traditional mint julep gives your guests options and a great wow factor! Plus, guests can take home their custom mason jar as party favors! We also loved coordinating the southern phrase Cheers Y’all on personalized cocktail napkins.

When you think horseracing and the Kentucky Derby, the first thing that comes to mind is the fashion! Whether you pick out your dress or hat first, both go hand in hand. How fun and flirty are these one of kind LaRoque dresses?

Kentucky Derby hats are a tradition dating back over 100 years. Dee’s Hats handmade designer hats and fascinators and will tailor your custom hat just for your Derby outfit!

The Derby inspired menu consisted of small bites such as mini hot browns, mini crostini, mini cheddar cheese and herb biscuits with ham, and rainbow bow tie farfalline (pasta) with succotash by Sarah Sofia Productions. When hosting your own party and making food, consider making at least 3-4 main dishes. When being a hostess, I always try to make a few things from starch and buy a few things pre made such as cheddar biscuits and succotash I bought at a specialty store.

The desserts were the best in show with custom bow tie, Derby hat, and horseshoe cookies, mini pecan pies, mini lemon rosette cupcakes, and bourbon balls from Edible Art Cake Shop and pastel colored macarons from Tree House Macarons.

I love making a wedding or party unique with custom invitations! These hand painted invitations by Paperie Off Park set the tone for the party, pretty pastel colors and lots of fun! Playing off the invitation “Gentlemen, grab your bowties” I added a limited edition Derby Bow Tie from Vineyard Vines.

Place Your Bets! Custom designed betting cards that coordinate with the hand painted invitation add another element of fun for this Derby inspired party!

Besides spray painting horse and jockey figures, my other favorite DIY was the beautiful spring wreath around the horse statue displayed at the bottom of the food table. Adding paper flowers either handmade or this garland added another element to the design.

When I saw a piece from Christenberry Collection I knew I had to have it or something similar for this Derby Party! Christenberry Collection curated a custom piece of art by artist Shields Catone, which displays the pastel colors used throughout the party design.

Adding a few printables finished the design look. Sometimes less is more. You don’t have to have a sign or tag for everything. However, I do love the Kentucky Derby 2016 watercolor sign designed by Hostess With The Mostess !

Sarah has certainly WOW’d us with this gorgeous Kentucky Derby party! We are definitely ready for the races and can’t wait to sip on mint juleps while wearing our fancy hats! I hope you are inspired to host a derby soiree too!


Venue & Horses: Breezy Meadows Farm
Photography: Andi Perullo de Ledesma Photography
Planning, Coordination, Design, Peach Mint Julep, Décor DIY, Food – Sarah Sofia Productions
Hand Painted Invitation & Betting Cards: Paperie Off Park
Tables, Linens, Chairs, & Silver Platters: Classic Party Rentals
Dresses: LaRoque
Mini Desserts: Edible Art Cake Shop
Macarons: Treehouse Macarons
Flowers: The Flower Diva
Hats: Dee’s Designer Hat’s & Fascinators
Curated Art: Christenberry Collection (Meredith Christenberry)
Personalized Cheers Y’all Mason Jars : Shutterfly
Personalized cocktail napkins : Tiny Prints
Petite Blossom Cups – Springtime & Gold Mini Square Trays: Via Blossom
Models: Jaime Spencer – A Well Dressed Life , Kristen Shaeffer – Every Chic Way , Elise Houston – Her Heart and Home and Dominique DeLaney – Comfy Cozy Couture
Pink and gold plates & pastel vintage glasses: Anthropologie
White dinner plates & white horse head statue: HomeGoods
Wooden crates, Picture Frames & Pink Glass Cake Stand: Michaels
Limited Edition Derby Bow Tie: Vineyard Vines
Gold Horse & Jockey Figure, Plastic Horse Figures, & Mini Plastic Horse and Jockey Figures: Amazon
Mini Cake Stands, Straws & Oh Joy Spring Collection Plate: Target
Printables: Hostess With The Mostess

Pizzazzerie is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that pizzazzerie.com receives a small commission by linking to Amazon.com and other sites at no cost to the readers.

Summer entertaining

Kiwis love to ‘summer’ and luckily summer means holidays. A time to chill and also indulge in some easy entertaining. Time for casual snacks, barbecues and long lunches.

There’s such a great choice of deli treats that it’s easy to have enough prepared goodies on hand to mix and match on a crackers, crostini or crusty bread. Ensure you are generous with the toppings.

My daughter keeps a freezer full of pizza bases for unexpected guests but I prefer to make my own quick version. Almost any topping that can adorn a cracker can also top a pizza.

Then there are the drinks. Not everyone wants a sav or chardonnay and right now I’m into any drink with mint. The sugar syrup used in many summer drinks is one cup of sugar dissolved in one cup of water then chilled.


Raspberry Mojito: Muddle 3-4 mint leaves with 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice in a tall glass. Add 3 raspberries and break open to allow the juice to escape. Add 2 tablespoons of white rum and a ½ cup of lemonade.

Virgin Mojito Mocktail: Place 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice, 6 mint leaves and 2 teaspoons of brown sugar in a tall glass. Bruise a few leaves with a spoon to extract some flavour. Stand for an hour for the flavours to develop. Fill the glass with ice then top with soda water.

Mint Julep: Muddle 4 mint leaves with 2-3 tablespoons of sugar syrup in a tall glass. Add 2-3 tablespoons of bourbon, fill with crushed ice then garnish with more mint.

Peach Smash: Peel, stone and chop a small ripe peach. Place in a jug. Add 6 mint leaves and muddle well. Add 2 teaspoons each of lemon juice and sugar syrup and 3 tablespoons of whiskey. Mix well. Strain into a glass containing ice cubes.

Flat bread toppings

Avocado and capsicum

1 avocado, stoned, peeled and mashed
1 tablespoon lime juice
flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 small roasted red capsicum (from a jar, if preferred)
1 small bunch coriander
6 baked Huntly & Palmer's Flat Breads or similar

  1. Combine the avocado and lime juice. Season. Drain the capsicum well, pat dry and dice.
  2. Pick the small leaves from the coriander and reserve.
  3. Spread the avocado on the flat breads close to serving time. Top with the diced capsicums and the coriander. Makes 6.

Chicken and pesto


150g skinned and boned smoked chicken
1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise
¼ cup basil pesto
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup calendula or marigold petals, rinsed and patted dry
6 baked flat breads or similar

  1. Mince the chicken in a food processor or blender. Combine with the mayo to make a spreadable consistency.
  2. Combine the pesto with the lemon juice.
  3. Spread the flat bread with the chicken, top with dots of pesto and sprinkle with flower petals. Makes 6

Ricotta and smoked salmon

125g ricotta
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon each: extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice
6 baked flat breads or similar
50g sliced smoked salmon, julienned
2-3 teaspoon capers, rinsed and drained
fennel or dill fronds for garnish

  1. Combine the ricotta, seasonings, olive oil and lemon juice. Spread on the flat breads.
  2. Top with smoked salmon, capers and herb. Makes 6.


Wasabi crostini


½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon New Zealand Pure Wasabi
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
6 Abe's Baked Bagel crostini or similar
25g shaved pastrami
small parsley sprigs to garnish

  1. Combine the sour cream with the wasabi and parsley.
  2. Dollop on the crostini and top with pastrami curls and parsley sprigs. Makes 6.

Classic summer crostini

75g fresh mozzarella or bocconcini
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 small baked crostini or similar
2-3 cherry tomatoes, sliced
6 small basil leaves

  1. Slice the mozzarella into pieces about the width of the crostini. Place in a small bowl with the olive oil, garlic and seasonings. Marinate for at least 30 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Place on the crostini and top with the tomatoes and basil leaves. Makes 6.

Blue cheese and blueberries


75g soft, creamy blue cheese
6 small baked crostini or similar
12 blueberries
6 viola flowers, rinsed and patted dry

  1. Spread the blue cheese on the crostini.
  2. Top with the blueberries and violas. Makes 6

Quick pizza base

Tastes just like a traditional one.

½ cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1½ teaspoons dried yeast granules
1 cup self-raising flour
¼ cup high grade flour
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Kentucky Derby Party Recipes

Leave the race to the ponies, you'll be busy serving this winning menu.

Mint Julep
The signature cocktail of the American South. No Kentucky Derby party is complete without it. Get the recipe.

Mini Chicken and Waffles
These heavenly minis will undoubtedly be a hit, so whenever you decide to serve them, just be prepared to share the recipe (or not). Get the recipe.

Deviled Eggs
Some people are deviled-egg purists. We're not those people. Here, the classic appetizer get's three fun updates. Get the recipe.

Yogurt Biscuits With Honey Butter
A lighter take on a comforting classic. Get the recipe.

Grilled Shrimp and Watermelon Salad
A colorful dish with sweet, salty and smoky flavors. Get the recipe.

Bacon-Wrapped Cheese Straws
Cheese straws should be served at all gatherings. Period. Get the recipe.

BLT Crostini
The best part? This recipe requires little cooking, just assembly. Get the recipe.

Pickled Shrimp
An appetizer that's just as pretty as it is delicious. Get the recipe.

Chocolate Pecan Tart
Use store bought crust to speed things up. Get the recipe.

Bourbon Cream
Use as a topping for the Chocolate Pecan Tart. Or. well just about anything with chocolate. Get the recipe.

Peel and Eat Spicy Shrimp
Best eaten with your hands. Don't forget the napkins. Get the recipe.

Bacon Cheddar Biscuits
We had you at bacon, didn't we. Get the recipe.

One Pot Mac and Cheese
Everything is done right on your stove top--and in 30 minutes to boot. Get the recipe.

Great Gatsby
A sip of sweet sophistication. Get the recipe.

Bourbon Pecan Truffles
Bite-sized drops of heaven. Get the recipe.

Crawfish Boil
Simple, one-pot wonder. Get the recipe.

Gardening Mint

Different mint varieties prefer slightly different treatment when it comes to gardening, but most are very hardy and will tolerate some shade, meaning they can be grown indoors by a mostly sunlit window.

They do best in moist but well-drained soils and can grow to be 1 to 2 feet tall. If planted outside, they will sprawl out horizontally as well, and you'll quickly have large beds of mint (though they can easily be reined in by physical barriers, unlike pesky ivies).

Kentucky Derby Party

You are cordially invited to join us for a fun, classy, and unique experience at the winery!
Grab your biggest, most extravagant hat, cheeky Derby attire, and come watch the run for the roses LIVE at the winery amongst the redwoods at Redwood Retreat Grove. Below is a rough agenda for the day. Attendance will be limited to ensure social distancing protocols are met.

Event Start
3pm - Welcome cocktails and gathering at the winery.
The Race
3:50 pm - The race begins! We will have a large display playing the broadcast live.
Southern Dinner
After the race concludes guests will be treated to a sit-down Southern-style 4-course dinner. Wines will be hand-selected and paired by our winemaker. Full menu below.

We will have prizes for best dressed!

Never been to a Derby party? Here are some helpful links on what to wear: https://www.kentuckyderby.com/visit/what-to-wear

Limited seating available. Price includes all wine. Buy your tickets today!

Kentucky Derby Southern Style Dinner Menu
Hot Brown Crostini
Shaved turkey, sundried tomato pesto, dijon aoili, gravy and crispy pancetta
Chicken and Waffles
Buttermilk fried chicken, cheddar waffle and maple syrup
Winning Eggs
Southern-style deviled egg, sweet crispy prosciutto and Kentucky hot sauce caviar
Amuse Bouche
Chilled Mint Julep Watermelon Gazpacho
Heirloom tomato, feta cheese mouse, micro arugula, sherry, basil, habanera oil and mint syrup
First Course
Fried Green Tomato Salad
Lump crab, roasted red pepper remoulade, citrus pearls, baby greens and edible flowers
Second Course
Bourbon Slow Braised Short Ribs
Rainbow chard, gorgonzola polenta and blackened peach corn relish
Third Course
Southern Bread Pudding
Whiskey butterscotch sauce, herb pecans, Chantilly cream and white chocolate

Mint Julep Chicken Crostini - Recipes

When I think of the Kentucky Derby the first thing that comes to mind after the horses, of course, is the Mint Julep. It's the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, and one hell of a refreshing cocktail on a warm day.

Its genesis might surprise you.

The word "julep" actually comes from Arabic, whereby the Persians woud drink beverages called "julabs" that were sweetened by rosewater and were drunk out of metal cups. In the hot dessert sand, the metal cups when filled with ice kept the drink inside very, very cold for a much longer period of time. At one point the "julep" transferred into mainland Europe where the English took to it, combining a generic spirit with crushed mint that was served in a similar (albeit much less elaborate) metal cup. This drink in turn made its way to the south vis-a-vis English settlers and bourbon, made in abundance from the corn fields that thrived there, was replaced as the primary spirit for the drink.

During the 1700s bourbon and gin were used interchangeably in the south for the first drink of the day. Planters rose early to till the rich soil in the south, and the hot, muggy mornings were often christened with the clinking of metal cups containing the bourbon-mint concoction. In fact, their drinkers believed it warded off malaria. I think it was just a refreshing drink on a hot summer's day!

As the years went by expensive whiskey and even brandy temporarily replaced bourbon as the star of the very popular drink. But post-Civil War south, now broke, had to revert back to the cheaper (and I think tastier) locally grown and distilled bourbon rather than the imported Irish whiskeys and French brandies.

And with its simple but refreshing combination of smooth bourbon and crisp cold mint, The Mint Julep took its place as the official drink in Kentucky and eventually of the Kentucky Derby, where sellers couldn't keep up with the demand.

To this day the most traditional of juleps are still served in silver or pewter cups, often charged for and kept as souvenirs from the race. But more often we see them served in basic tumbler glasses, well chilled and piled high with refreshing crushed mint.

The cocktail is quite similar to a mojito and is done in a very similar fashion. You must gently crush the mint (not pulverize it) to extract the essential oils in the leaves. Some recipes use the technique of steeping the mint leaves in the simple syrup, something I often do for cocktails, in order to get that great taste without having to worry about pieces of mint that get stuck in between your teeth. Whereas this drink is sexy, a piece of green leafage when you smile alas is not.

The drink is great and you'll have fun making it and drinking it. Adjust the amount of simple syrup to your taste some like it sweeter, some like it harder (more bourbon). The choice is yours.

Now check out my recipe for a classic Mint Julep:

Mint Julep
fresh mint (peppermint or spearmint is fine)
crushed ice
2 tablespoons mint simple syrup (see recipe below)
2 tablespoons water
2 ounces good-quality Kentucky bourbon (recommended: Maker's Mark)

Crush or muddle a few mint leaves in the bottom of an 8-ounce mint julep cup (or tumbler), breaking up the leaves but not pulverizing them. Fill the cup 1/2 full with crushed or shaved ice. Add desired amount of mint simple syrup, water, and bourbon. Stir until the silver cup is frosted on the outside. Garnish with more un-crushed mint leaves on top.

Note: if using a glass tumbler the outside won't frost to achieve this effect you'll need to freeze your tumblers before use for half an hour.

Mint Simple Syrup:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 bunch fresh mint

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Add the mint leaves and gently crush them with a wooden spoon, releasing their essential oils. Bring mixture to a low simmer and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand at least 10 minutes so the mint leaves can continue steeping. The longer you leave the mint in, the stronger the flavor will be. Remove mint leaves and pour syrup through a sieve if necessary to remove any mint particles. It's now ready to use.

Grilled Mini Sweet Peppers with Goat Cheese

Heat grill to medium to medium-high heat. Make sure grates are scrubbed clean and then oiled. (To oil the grates, add some canola oil to a small bowl. Then fold a heavy paper towel a few times to make a smaller square. With a tongs, grasp the folded paper towel and dip it into the oil until the paper towel is drenched. Then run the paper towel over the grates, repeating until all grill grates are thoroughly oiled.)

Cut stems off peppers, then slice peppers in half lengthwise and remove inner ribs and seeds. Place halved peppers on large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, folding to coat evenly. Sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fold and repeat.

Place peppers cut-side down on hot grill grates. Once the peppers are charred to your liking, flip to grill the other side of the peppers. Each side should only take a minute or two. When peppers are done, remove them to the rimmed baking pan, cut-side up - or to a platter for a nicer serving presentation. Using a small knife or spoon, remove a bit of goat cheese from the log and add it to the center of a grilled pepper half. Repeat until all goat cheese is used.

Sprinkle peppers with fresh rosemary and thyme, plus a nice amount of Maldon smoked sea salt flakes. Some of the salt flakes can be rather large, so lightly crunch them between your finger tips as you sprinkle, if desired. I've found that our family likes to get plenty of pops of smoked salt in their bites, so I tend to sprinkle fairly generously. Serve warm.