Last weekend turned into all sorts of unexpected goodness. We were supposed to go to the cabin as a family for the first time this Spring, but twelve inches of threatening snow and ice thwarted those plans. So we took the kids out on their day off school to a place where all upstanding, morally conscientious parents lead their offspring.
The Off Track Betting parlor.
Because naturally, the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday demanded more than our average apéritif efforts. We needed a greater incentive to cheer and root and holler for the big bucks. We all picked a trifecta box, and Mr. Musky selected a couple of horses to win. Between the four of us, we surely held a winning ticket, and we all agreed to split the winnings, regardless of who chose the big winner.
Still bummed about my lackluster mojito the week before, I broke down and made a simple mint syrup for the standard Kentucky Derby apéritif. I brought a cup of sugar and a cup of water to a boil, then simmered it for five minutes. I then removed it from the heat and added a bunch of mint to steep for 15 minutes. And...it was divine. It made an awesome mint julep, along with crushed ice (an absolute must for this cocktail) and one of my all time favorite bourbons, Woodford Reserve. I used three parts bourbon to a scant one part syrup and added loads of crushed ice.
We played no music on Derby Day; instead, we watched the coverage that started early in the afternoon on our little kitchen TV, then moved downstairs to the big screen for the main event.
Look! We're fresh out of Woodford Reserve!
Shockingly, once the food was ready the minions magically appeared. And gave a big thumbs up while giggling over the name of my concoction. But every picture I snapped of my delightful children ended up terrible, because they were stuffing their mouths the entire time. I guess I should probably feed them something before four o'clock on a Saturday.
Clearly, such a tiny amount of food wouldn't hold this crowd over until morning, so I also made a giant pan of lasagna while watching the pre-race festivities. But I'll save that madness for another post.
And alas, there were no big winners in our house on Derby Day. Maybe we'll try again in a few weeks.
In the meantime, if you need some quick and easy appetizers, try these! They'll be a huge hit with any immature crowd who can't handle the phrase "Drunken Wieners."