Last month I had the pleasure of taking a trip to Louisville, Kentucky for the very first time courtesy of bourbon brand Old Forester. And let me tell you—I *loved* it!
From the amazing food to the delicious Old Fashioned’s, and overall southern hospitality, it was a welcome getaway.
While there, I also got to learn a little more about the Kentucky Derby, one of the state’s most exciting weekends. And with it being right around the corner, I figured why not share a signature cocktail to celebrate the festivities—a Mint Julep.
The Mint Julep is the perfect sip as we transition seasons, with a crisp and fresh finish. So, here’s how to make one for yourself using Old Forester:
- 2 oz. Old Forester 86 Proof
- 0.75 oz. Simple Syrup
- 8-10 mint leaves
- 3 mint sprigs for garnish
Pack mint julep cup with crushed ice. In a mixing glass, combine bourbon, syrup, and mint leaves. Lightly bruise mint leaves with a muddler, strain contents into a julep cup. Garnish with 3 generous sprigs of mint.
I also wanted to drive home the spirit of Derby and decided to pair my Mint Julep with another staple, the Hot Brown!
The Hot Brown is essentially an open-faced sandwich with roasted turkey, bacon, Romano cheese, and a Mornay sauce. I was inspired by some mini hot browns we had while in Louisville and decided to make my own using bagel chips. Here’s how you can too:
- 1 cup finely chopped roasted turkey breast
- 6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped tomato
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup half-and-half
- Salt and pepper to taste
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
- 1 bag of bagel chips
- grape tomatoes cut into slivers for garnish
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl, combine the turkey, bacon, and chopped tomatoes, and put it to the side.
In a saucepan, melt the butter. Once butter is melted begin to whisk in the flour and cook for a minute. Gradually whisk in the half and half and cook until the sauce begins to thicken. Once it does, remove from the heat and stir in salt, pepper, and cheese until it is fully melted.
Pour this sauce over the turkey, bacon, and tomatoes and mix.
Using a spoon, top each bagel chip with the mixture and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Garnish with sliced tomato and enjoy!