I just ran in to someone who is actually watching the Kentucky Derby. It turns out people really do. Who knew? I mean watching twelve Jumbo bags of Puppy Chow on the hoof run a circle around the largest corral of drunks outside of New Years Times Square isn't my idea of fun. Particularly when you realize the drunks are drunk on the worst mixed drink since pond scum. In fact I'm embarrassed to say that I originally thought that Mint Julep was an insult you shouted at cleft palates of the Hebrew persuasion. Which is actually less offensive than the drink. I mean to sully Bourbon with smashed weeds and sugar is sacrilege. Noble Bourbon - the firewater that rooked a million Indians (Thanks Great Grand Dad!) out of their allotments. Bourbon - made from the ancient corn plant - native of North America. Bourbon - product of backwoods peckerwoods everywhere. Bourbon - so refined yet so simple that even Canadians can make it - even if they get the name wrong. Bourbon - made by men who may be speaking an undecipherable dialect of English but at least are doing so with their pants on..
I first was exposed to the vile Mint Julep in Vicksburg Mississippi at a restaurant that claimed to have invented the potion - I assume in their secret volcano lair. When they proudly brought the concoction to me I thought they were funning me - so simple son of the southern plains that I was I said so: "Ha ha, but seriously, where is this hairlip drink you say is so great?" and to their credit they told the truth (not something I would have done in their place. I would have swept that dreck off the table and said "sorry our Mint Juperator is busted how about a beer?" but I'm fast on my feet) and boy was it embarrassing because between the half chewed mint cud and the sugar I simply couldn't force it down. Yuck O!
But the existence of the Mint Julep does help me understand why the South stuck by slavery way past its sell by date - I mean if the Julep is your regional drink then you're going to be in a pretty crappy mood when the cocktail hour rolls around pretty much every bloody night - enough to make you want to oppress an entire race of people. Not that mulched cocktails justify chattel slavery mind you - it's just the tragic byproduct of a mixology choice gone horribly wrong. It's almost as bad as the Cuba Libre whose questionable Rum and Coke combination so devastated Cuba that within a few short decades it fell to Communists who ran on the platform of "No Cuba Libre" and to their credit they've kept their promise ever since.