Southern Living (March 2010)
As you may know, Clay is from Kentucky. And there's one aspect of Kentucky life that's always really intrigued us: the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. And by "intrigued us," we mean that we've been dying to become Colonels for several years. The organization is a social group that has granted the title of "Kentucky Colonel" since 1813. Here's how the society describes itself on its Web site:
Many people think of the Kentucky Colonels as a group of people that enjoys the good life, has an enviable social calendar and, during Kentucky Derby week, consumes mint juleps as if they were iced tea. Well, that’s us!
With a description like that, who wouldn't want to be a Colonel?
Anyway, as we said, we've always thought it would be fun to be Kentucky Colonels ourselves. So this past Christmas, as a surprise to Clay, Zach nominated him to become a member (nominees have to be sponsored by an existing Colonel, so Zach enlisted the help of our friend Ed).
Meanwhile, Clay was secretly working with a different friend to nominate Zach into the Order! It was all very "Gift of the Magi," minus extreme haircuts or trips to the pawn shop. When the certificates arrived, we had a good laugh -- we'd each thought it would be the perfect surprise gift for Christmas.
At any rate, we're now both card-carrying Kentucky Colonels!
So yesterday, the first really gorgeous Sunday we've had so far this year, we decided the sunny morning called for drinks, Kentucky-style. So we made up a batch of these Kentucky Mimosas.
Southern Living is a new magazine for us. Well, not new, of course -- both our mothers received it all through our childhoods. But we hadn't been receiving it in our cadre of food mags until our friend Jim (another Kentuckian!) gave us a subscription as a gift.
When we saw these Kentucky Mimosas in the March issue, we knew we wanted to make them. We love bourbon, but don't typically serve or order bourbon drinks at brunch. We're more brunch traditionalists, sticking mostly to Bloody Marys or Champagne Mimosas.
These mimosas are very good but very sweet. If we make them again, we'll add more sage and club soda (and maybe less of the simple syrup).
With those minor tweaks, these would be just the perfect brunch cocktail -- subtly sweet and bubbly, but with a darker kick than a traditional Champagne mimosa.
So next weekend, make up a batch, try out your best bluegrass drawl and raise a glass to Kentucky.
Makes about 3 cups
Hands-On Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
1/2 cup sugar
6 large fresh sage leaves
1 1/4 cups club soda
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup bourbon or orange juice
1. Stir together sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a light boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; add sage leaves, and let stand 5 minutes. Remove and discard leaves.
2. Stir together syrup, club soda, orange juice, and bourbon in a large pitcher; add ice cubes to fill. Serve immediately.