Mint juleps and rare whiskeys featured at Vail Derby Party (video)
The fastest two minutes in sports is surrounded by long standing traditions and the mint julep is the classic beverage Kentucky Derby watchers will imbibe in. According to the Kentucky Derby’s official website, 120,000 mint juleps will be served at Churchill Downs. Remedy at the Four Seasons Vail will get party goers into the spirit of things by hosting the annual Vail Derby Party, which benefits Children’s Garden of Learning preschool in Vail.
Over the past month, Steven Teaver, beverage director at the Four Seasons Vail, has been tinkering with the ingredients to create the perfect mint julep. “It’s a simple cocktail, but it’s kind of like playing Texas Hold ‘em, it takes you a minute to learn how, but a lifetime to master it,” Teaver said.
Little nuances like building the mint layer and the flavor, not making the drink too sweet and getting the dilution right were a part of the process. “You’ve got to use the right crushed ice, just the right vessel to make it great and we’ll also be offering a frozen version as well, which should be really delicious,” Teaver said.
In addition to the mint juleps, Teaver is bringing out some very special bourbons from his own collection as well as what he has compiled for the Fours Seasons Vail over the past seven years to pour for guests. More hard to find bourbons can be yours via the silent auction, which will benefit Children’s Garden of Learning.
“I’ve got the Antique Collection from Buffalo Trace which includes William Larue Weller, a 17-year-old wheated mash bill and it’s been awarded Whiskey of the Year and Liquid Gold titles numerous times but you can’t find this anywhere else,” Teaver said. They’ll even be pulling out the highly sought after Van Winkle whiskeys for the event. “Everybody’s always looking for Pappy.”
Another offering will be their private barrel selections. Every year, Teaver travels to Kentucky and picks a handful of barrels that are now only available at the Four Seasons Vail. “They bottle them as a single barrel, we buy every drop that’s in that barrel so it is a unique whiskey to the Four Seasons Vail that you can’t find anywhere else in the world,” Teaver said. Look for Eagle Rare, Four Roses, W.L. Weller, Buffalo Trace and more rarities.
“On those high end whiskeys, those older whiskeys, that’s where we’re going to be donating half the proceeds to Children’s Garden of Learning,” Teaver said. “So, think of it this way, get a rare whiskey while giving back to the community. It’s a win-win.”
The Vail Derby party runs from 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 5. Purchase tickets in advance at http://www.vailderbyparty.eventbrite.com. Tickets will also be available at the door.