last saturday was a big day - it was cinco de mayo as well as derby day - cinco de derby!
i'm fairly conflicted about the derby - i like all of the fancy hats and the juleps and the traditions and the tearjerky part of the pre-show where they go through all the human interest stories about the myriad tragedies that have befallen the owners, trainers, and jockeys. someone's always getting over cancer or a rare childhood disease. in this year's derby, the main story was about a heart attack in dubai that caused a workaholic to reevaluate his relationship with his family. presh!
however, horse racing in general is kind of sad and not very humane, so that kind of takes away from it. but i figure i can enjoy it and a mint julep once a year and salve my conscience with donating to horse rescue organizations. or not?
in the realm of happier subjects, farmers' markets are starting up again here. the one i went to last week had trays and trays of lovely and amazing-smelling strawberries. obviously i had to get some. they ended up coming to our friends' cinco de mayo party as part of a kentucky sangria.
kentucky sangria is the happy marriage of sangria and a mint julep and as such is a good thing to have on hand for those magical times when the derby and cinco de mayo coincide.
a couple of hours before the party, i cut the strawberries and one mango into smallish pieces - maybe 1/3" or so. then i just piled them into what i think was a 32 ounce container with a little sugar (~1/3 cup, although you can adjust to taste), a whole thinly sliced lime (peel and all - as thin as possible), and a big handful of mint (probably like a dozen or 15 large leaves).
then just fill the container with the bourbon of your choice and let it all sit together for awhile. when you're ready to enjoy it, add the fruit & bourbon to a pitcher with a bottle of dry sparkling wine and 12 ounces (+/-) ginger ale or, if you like it less sweet, sparkling water or club soda.
you can probably use other fruits - pineapple would be particularly good. whatever you use, be careful - this is strong but it goes down mighty easily. even if it's not cinco de derby i think this would be a good sittin'-around-on-the-patio drink or cookout accompaniment.
1 pint strawberries (this assumes you will be eating some of them while you cut them up)
handful (12-15 leaves) fresh mint
like 1 1/2 cups bourbon (something like that - i just poured it into the thing to fill it up)
1 bottle dry sparkling wine
12 ounces or so ginger ale, club soda, or sparkling water
listening to: the delgados.