Dont skimp on the mint Juleps for Derby day…and beyond

first_imgUmstead Summer JulepCourtesy of Kyle Davis, Bar Manager, The Umstead Hotel and Spa2 ounces Four Roses bourbon8 to 10 sprigs mint½ ounce North Carolina tobacco-infused simple syrup1 slice Savannah Bee CompanyhoneycombIn a cocktail shaker, add mint and one scoop of ice. With a wooden muddler, muddle vigorously until ice is finely crushed. Continue by adding Four Roses bourbon and tobacco simple syrup. Shaking once more, transfer all contents into a mason jar or Julep cup using a bar spoon. Complete by garnishing with a generous slice of Savannah Bee Company’s fresh honeycomb and serve immediately. photograph by Juli LeonardDon’t let the mint fool you. That lighthearted, summery herb, equally at home in iced tea and lemonade, is here on a mission. Mashed up with sugar, its oils and essence make what comes next suitable for a springtime afternoon. Because without it, a julep’s just a whole lot of bourbon in the midday sun.At Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Ky., they’ve been serving up juleps to Kentucky Derby fans for nearly a century. It became the signature drink of the track in 1938 when they introduced souvenir glasses for 75 cents, and today, the track sells about 120,000 of the cocktails over the course of race weekend. They don’t skimp on the mint: More than 1,000 pounds of freshly picked green leaves make it all happen.This year, as contenders like Verazzano, Goldencents and Orb get ready for the 139th “greatest two minutes in sports” on May 4, bartenders everywhere are tuning up their own version of the drink to toast them with.At the Umstead Hotel’s bar, a julep comes with tobacco-infused simple syrup, a slice of honeycomb, and homegrown mint. At Mandolin restaurant, Kentucky Colonel spearmint from The Little Herb House in Raleigh makes a star turn.The julep – whose name is derived from the Arabic gulab, or refreshing cocktail made of rose petals – is thought to have originated in the agricultural South as a morning pick-me-up sometime in the 18th century and was first mixed with rye or rum. Needless to say, a morning pick-me-up these days is more likely to include caffeine than alcohol, and a julep is now made with bourbon. Typically, that’s the ingredient that receives the most attention, but it would be a shame to let the mint to take too far a back seat.Hardy perennial  Some will tell you that mint is a weed. They are wrong. Actually, they are right, but the word ‘weed’ doesn’t do this aromatic perennial herb justice. Because while mint may be invasive, fans prefer to consider it simply tougher than most. Plant a little, get a lot. And you’ll need it, because mint is more than a flavorful addition to a cocktail; it’s also a perfect antidote to one. Known to soothe nausea and improve digestion, mint is claimed by some to improve alertness and memory. What more could you want in a daytime libation?So, once you have a gracious plenty of mint leaves at the ready –  put aside a good pile for garnish, and consider your options.The bartenders at Churchill Downs vouch for making a simple syrup and steeping mint in it overnight. They have volume to contend with; you might not. Another way is to soak the mint in bourbon for a short time, creating a sort of spiked extract.But muddling the mint with sugar in the serving cup itself is the traditional method. Using the end of a wooden spoon – or a muddler, which is a bartender’s pestle shaped like a baseball bat – muddling basically means smashing the leaves, releasing enough flavor to stand up to the bourbon.Even here, of course, there are schools of thought. Some abhor the idea of muddling at all, preferring their mint to remain a decorative flourish, not a flavor. Others suggest a gentle pounding that merely encourages a hint of mint to emerge. And a small minority argue for a well-muscled muddle, making for a super-minty cocktail, but one that begins to resemble a Mojito.Most use regular sugar, which acts as an abrasive. Some wouldn’t put sugar in a julep if their lives depended on it. Some insist on a splash of seltzer, others stick to flat water; some pour it all over crushed ice, others allow a cube or two.And as for the bourbon: Kentucky’s limestone water started the bourbon-making business there in the 1800s. Today’s small Kentucky labels like Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Town Branch, and Woodford Reserve draw on that heritage and make a worthy counterpart to a sprig or two of the minty weed.    Mandolin’s Mint JulepCourtesy of Addison Dailey, Bartender, Mandolin10 to 12 spearmint leaves*2 ounces Woodford Reserve bourbon1 ½ teaspoons raw turbinado sugarcrushed iceIn a julep cup, gently muddle the mint leaves with a little bit of ice. Add in the sugar and a splash of bourbon, continuing to lightly muddle until the sugar has dissolved and married into a mash with the mint. Next fill the julep cup (a little less than full) with ice, and add the rest of the bourbon; stir for 30 to 45 seconds until frosted. Top off with ice, andgarnish with a sprig of mint.*Mandolin uses Kentucky Colonel mint from The Little Herb House in Raleighlast_img

5 Ski Resorts For A Day Trip From Tokyo 20192020

first_imgImage courtesy of Fujimi Development Public CorporationFujimi Panorama Resort is located in Nagano, two hours and 15 minutes away from Shinjuku if you take the limited express train Azusa. This resort is best known for its unique slopes such as a “heart shaped slope” which is very popular with couples. Read also Image courtesy of Norn Minakami Ski ResortNorn Minakami Ski Resort is accessible in one and a half hours from Tokyo by the Jōetsu bullet train. Norn Minakami Ski Resort is open until 22:00 from Sunday to Thursday and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Various types of discounted tickets are available depending on which time of the day you ski, such as the early morning pass, twilight pass and night pass. Norn Minakami Ski Resort has pretty steep slopes which are ideal for intermediate level skiers and above.Season: December 20, 2019, to April 5, 2020It takes around 20 minutes by free shuttle from Minakami Station. Norn Ski Resort View Informationamusement_parkstoreEnjoy a Day of Skiing Near Tokyo!How do you like the ski resorts we introduced here? Getting out of Tokyo and going to ski on a day trip is a fun and relaxing activity. The mountains in Japan offer an amazing landscape in the winter. We hope you enjoy skiing and winter sports. Top 5 Ski Resorts In Snowy Hokkaido For Winter 2019-2020 JR TOKYO Wide Pass – Travel Economically To GALA Yuzawa Snow Resort Image courtesy of Fujiyama Resort Co., LtdSnow Town Yeti is located two hours and 40 minutes away from Shinjuku by bus. In fact, direct buses from Tokyo to Snow Town Yeti are operated from 18 stations in total such as Hachioji, Shinagawa, Machida, Yokohama Station, and others. You can get on a bus at a station close to your place and you will soon be at the ski resort, which is really convenient, isn’t it? 2. Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Area in Nagano Prefecture Skiing and Winter Sports Near Tokyo – Enjoy the Snowy Season!Skiing is one of the most popular winter sports in Japan. If you visit Japan in the winter and have at least one or two days at your disposal to travel to a ski resort, we highly recommend you go skiing, snowboarding, and playing in Japan’s mountainous areas.We introduce here seasonal information and five ski resorts great for day trips from Tokyo. Located in Niigata, Nagano, and other nearby prefectures, all boast high-quality snow and easy access from the city.1. GALA Yuzawa Snow Resort in Niigata Prefecture Image courtesy of Fujiyama ResortSnow Town Yeti is the only place where you can ski with Mount Fuji in the background. Snow Town Yeti opens the earliest in Japan because it uses devices for making artificial snow. You can ski here even during the fall foliage season.Season: October 25, 2019, to April 5, 2020For those taking the train, it is about a 56-minute bus ride from JR Gotemba Station or a 5-minute bus ride from JR Susuno Station to the resort. Fujiyama Snow Resort Yeti View Information5. Norn Minakami Ski Resort in Gunma Prefecture Image courtesy of Prince Hotels, Inc.A one-hour bullet train ride brings you from Tokyo to Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Area or “KaruSki” for short. Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Area offers free lift ticket service for kids as well as a snow stadium where you can try sledding and snow tubing. These features make Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Area a very child-friendly ski resort. Snow, Hot Springs, And Exquisite Food! Enjoy Nagano’s Winter At KAI Alps The Beauty Of Kusatsu Onsen In Winter: Snowflakes And Hot Springs Read also Visiting Japan In Winter 2019-2020: Temperatures, Clothing, Travel Tips Image courtesy of GALA Yuzawa CorporationGALA Yuzawa Snow Resort is located right near a Shinkansen (bullet train) station, so it is a really convenient ski resort to go to. If you take the bullet train called Max Tanigawa which brings you directly to Gala-Yuzawa Station from Tokyo Station, you can reach it in only 75 minutes. At the exit from the ticket gate at the train station, a ticket counter of the ski resort will welcome you. You can change into your ski clothes and take a ski lift up to the top of the mountain right there. Image courtesy of GALA Yuzawa CorporationGALA Yuzawa Snow Resort has courses for all ability levels and a total of 17 ski trails are available. Gondolas for going down the mountain can become really crowded when people head home. It is possible to ski down the mountain but some of the paths might be difficult for beginners. If you are planning to ride a gondola on your way back, it is better to estimate that it would take a longer time than it usually takes.Season: December 14, 2019 to May 6, 2020 GALA Yuzawa Snow Resort View Informationlodgingrestaurant Sapporo Snow Festival 2020 – An Extravaganza Of Snow And Ice Image courtesy of Prince Hotels, Inc.Above is a preview of some of the courses you can try at the resort. The East High-speed Lift also runs as a sightseeing lift and even for night tours, allowing visitors to ride the lift even if they don’t ski at all.Season: November 2, 2019, to April 5, 2020 Karuizawa Princehotel Snow Resort View Information3. Fujimi Panorama Resort in Nagano Prefecture Image courtesy of Fujimi development public corporationThere is a saying that if you go to the Yatsugatake observation deck or to a fashionable restaurant on the top of the mountain then ski down the heart slope, you will live happily ever after.The closest station to the resort is Fujimi. It is around a 10-minute bus ride to reach Fujimi Panorama Resort from the station.Season: December 7, 2019, to April 5, 2020 Fujimi Panorama Resort View Information4. Snow Town Yeti in Shizuoka Prefecturelast_img