Is it me or has the Kentucky Derby just kind of snuck up on us? It's this Saturday on NBC 5.

For the first time, a spot in the starting gate was set aside for a horse from Japan through the separate Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby. Epicarchis, a grandson of 1989 Kentucky Derby winner Sunday Silence qualified by winning the Hyacinth Stakes.

Epicarchis has turned down the invite....Okay, the horse didn't but the people that handle him did. So I can't tell you the name of any horse but I can tell you the drink. It's the Mint Julep.

Post time is scheduled for 6:34 pm on NBC 5, so you have plenty of time to make it before race time? It consists of bourbon, sugar syrup and mint.

If you have it at the track, it comes in a souvenir glass available with all previous winners printed on the cup.  Here's the recipe:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 16 oz Maker’s Mark bourbon
  • 2 per mint julep
  • Crushed ice
  • 10 sprigs fresh mint
  • 8 mint julep glasses
  1. Combine the water and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil to make simple syrup. Boil for about 5 minutes.
  2. Cool and place in a covered container with 2 sprigs of fresh mine and refrigerate overnight.
  3. To make your Mint Julep, start by filling each Mint Julep glass with crushed ice.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of the mint flavored simple syrup then 2 oz. of Maker's Mark Bourbon.
  5. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the glass (Or grab a frosted mug out of the frig.)
  6. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint (or just say "Sprig It" and skip it.) It serves 6-8...If they only want one. You may want to double (or Triple Crown) it, so that you have enough for all the festivities.

Sip and enjoy...or gulp and enjoy faster!

NBC 5 will broadcast from Churchill Downs beginning at 2:30 pm.

[via Kentucky Derby]