There are many, many things that I love about Brooklyn, but since Iâd like to keep my word count on the shorter end, I wonât list them all. For now, Iâll just focus on one of my loves - it seems no matter how long youâve lived in this fair borough of New York City, no matter what neighborhood you end up exploring, there are always hidden gems to be found.
Take, for example, my neighborhood of Kensington â yes, just like the one in London. Most people donât realize that we have a full-fledged horse stable just a hop, trot and a jump away from Prospect Park. The stable has been in full operation at its current location since 1930, but has been a part of the neighborhood since 1917!
Incredible isnât it? In fact, there used to be stables all over Brooklyn at one point, but alas, the mode of transportation moved towards buses, subways and cars, and the stables eventually faded away.
I love this little gem hidden away in my neighborhood and thereâs something fun about walking down the street and seeing the horses hanging out for a grooming or getting ready for a ride in the park.
Now, the last time I got up close and personal with a horse, I was probably 5 or 6 years old. I generally prefer to enjoy their beauty from the street or maybe the television screen. For me, I always associate horses with my Brooklyn stable, but I know the rest of you might be thinking of the Kentucky Derby.
The truth is though, like most sporting events, itâs never about the actual sport, but the food or drink involved for me. So when Derby Day comes around, my mind goes to the Mint Julep!
The Julep really is the perfect spring and summer cocktail. Itâs refreshing and sippable on a hot day, with the mint cooling you down and just a touch of sweetness. The drink really is perfect on its own, but it can always use a little improvement, or at least a springtime touch!
The Derby is in the heart of spring after all! So now when all those rhubarb stalks are calling your name, you have an option beyond pie. Just break it down into an easy simple syrup and mash it with sweet fresh strawberries, mint and plenty of crushed ice for your strawberry rhubarb julep.
For the Rhubarb Simple Syrup:
For the Julep:
- 2 stalks rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, fresh
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 ounce rhubarb simple syrup
- 10 mint leaves, plus extra for garnish
- 2 strawberries, hulled and chopped, plus extra for garnish
- 2 1/2 ounces bourbon
- crushed ice
To Make the Simple Syrup:
In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine the rhubarb, sugar and water and bring to boil until the sugar is dissolved.
Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 15 minutes.
Place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and pour the liquid out, pressing down on the rhubarb with a spoon to release any juices. Discard the solids.
Let cool completely and store in a bottle or jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
To Make the Cocktail:
Fill a cocktail shaker with 1/2 ounces of simple syrup, mint leaves and strawberries and muddle until the strawberries are broken up and release their juices.
Stir in the bourbon and pour into a rocks glass or mint julep cup.
Fill the cup all the way up to the top with crushed ice and then pour the remaining 1/4 ounce of simple syrup over the top.
Garnish with mint and a whole strawberry and serve immediately.