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Insiders: Bourbon 'Too Good' For Mint Juleps?

As Derby Week approached Eater sought the opinions of several area dining and entertainment professionals, asking a number of questions about the upcoming festivities. Here Laurence Agnew, Joe Banet, Anthony Lamas, Edward Lee, Jeremy Johnson, Fernando Martinez and Mark Peters answer the question of whether or not any bourbon is too good for a mint Julep.

Q: Is there any bourbon that is too good for a mint julep?

Laurence Agnew, Executive Chef at Crushed Ice Events: All of them. It's my least favorite Derby food.

Joe Banet, Executive Chef at Rye: Most of them. However, if you absolutely have to make a mint julep, I would probably use Old Grand-Dad BIB.

Jeremy Johnson, Meta: How much money ya got in that there checking account?

Anthony Lamas, Seviche: There are lots of bourbons that I wouldn't use for a mint julep, but I guess I would have to say my friend Julian Van Winkle's bourbon is one I would never waste by using for a mixed drink.

Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia/Milkwood: All of them.

Fernando Martinez, Guaca Mole/El Taco Luchador/The Place Downstairs/Mussel & Burger Bar: Any Pappy is too good for a mint julep.

Mark Peters, Coals Artisan Pizza: At Coals we make our own homemade mint reduction. Not too much sugar. Then with fresh mint garnish. I think the drink has been given a bad rap by the pre-mixed version. But yes, there are a good number of bourbons that should be drunk neat or over one big rock.

Rye On Market

900 E Market Street, Louisville, KY 40202 502-749-6200 Visit Website

Coals Artisan Pizza

3730 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville, KY 40207 502-742-8200

610 Magnolia

610 West Magnolia Avenue, , KY 40208 (502) 636-0783 Visit Website


316 W Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202 502-584-6455 Visit Website

Guaca Mole

9921 Ormsby Station Road, Louisville, KY 40223 502-365-4822