Here's The Jist:

As a Drink Editor I receive a lot of requests for restaurant, bar and nightlife recommendations. So I started a blog to chronicle Chicago's social scene which eventually morphed into New York's drinking and dining scene. After years in Chicago, I'm now a full time resident of NYC, the East Village to be exact. Look forward to sharing the latest and greatest from the wine & spirits world, straight from the Big Apple.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The $1,000 Mint Julep

It’s known as the most exciting two minutes in sports and as all of you racing aficionados know, the Derby is the first leg of the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing and is followed by the Preakness Stakes then the Belmont Stakes. But if you’d rather sit and look pretty in your big ‘ole Southern hat - then, boy, do we have a drink for you.

On May 2nd, Woodford Reserve bourbon will offer a tribute to jockeys with the world’s most exclusive mint julep cup. A collection of 99 sterling silver cups plated in 24-karat gold – a select few adorned with diamonds and signed by Triple Crown-winning jockeys - will be made available for purchase online until April 28th and must be picked up by the buyer at the Kentucky Derby next Saturday, May 2nd.

Proceeds from the Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cups will benefit The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and The Robby Albarado Foundation.

When owners of the $1,000 Mint Julep receive their glass, they will enjoy a mint julep featuring a unique set of ingredients from around the globe: sugar cane cut and crushed by hand from Sainte Marie in the Reunion Island of France; Turkish mint grown near the Euphrates River; ice made of water from an aquifer in the wilderness of Central Norway; and a small batch of the Master Distiller’s personal selection of Woodford Reserve super-premium bourbon.

For those of you who can’t make it to this year’s Derby, pop into your local Binny’s and pick up a 2009 Limited Edition Woodford Reserve bottle that was designed by former jockey-turned-artist, Tom Chapman, for your own Derby viewing party. And for all you cheeky chicks looking for a local par-tay, check out the below:

Via Ventuno (2110 S. Wabash)

Housed in the former Room 21 space in the South Loop is Jerry Kleiner’s latest creation. Next Saturday, May 2nd from 4 – 6 pm, Via Ventuno’s bar area will celebrate with Chef Jim Kilberg’s special bar menu and Derby-themed cocktails. Bluegrass and Dixieland jazz will set the sounds of the soiree as you sip, smile and swirl.

Expect Benedictine Tea Sandwiches with Ramps, Deviled Eggs, Oyster Po’ Boys with Remoulande and Fried Okra with Truffled Honey, all of which are only $5 each. Sip on the Belle of the Ball ($8) which incorporates peach-macerated bourbon, cognac, absinthe, muddled brown sugar and bitters or go for the Red Means Go ($8) made with Blackstrap Navy Rum, Amaro, Blood Orange, Pomegranate Molasses and ginger beer.

The Pony (1638 W. Belmont)

Aptly named for the Kentucky Derby, the Pony is hosting an event benefiting the local charity, Equestrian Connection, which maintains horses as a therapeutic outlet for children and adults with disabilities. From 1:30 – 5:30 pm, as guests nosh on Southern style comfort food like biscuits and fried chicken, they can donate money and “bid” on their favorite horses from the Equestrian Connection (photos will be on display) - the one with the most money will be named the Derby “winner.” For $40, patrons can take advantage of the open bar and sip on classic mint juleps.

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