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Dave Spencer’s Best Derby Memory: Mom’s Loaded Juleps

pbody, Flickr.com

Gotta be honest. As the years have gone by, and we get farther and farther away from the last Triple Crown winner (Affirmed in 1978), I have grown less and less interested in the Kentucky Derby.

I still have a great deal of respect for the tradition. And I still watch it just about every year. But it’s just not as intriguing as it once was. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a great Kentucky Derby memory. I do. And it’s hilarious!

Several years ago, when I was in my early 20s, I went over to my parents’ house on the afternoon of the Derby. They were settling in to watch it. They loved it. Mom never misses it to this day. When I got there, she told me to sit down and get ready. She had just made mint juleps.

Okay, my parents did not drink. So, I immediately thought I was going to get iced tea with a sprig of mint. And that would have been delicious.

Mom brought in the tray and I took one. Assuming it was harmless, and without taking a whiff, I downed a big slug. Mistake!!

IT WAS STRAIGHT BOURBON!

My throat was burning! By the time I finished choking, I heard my dad say, “Golly, Sue, these are better than the ones you made last year!”

WHAT?!?!?

What on earth had been going on in that household? Well, needless to say, after I realized what I was holding, I finished it in sips–the proper way to partake of bourbon. But, geez, a little warning would have been nice.

I remember a few years later, Mom mentioned that she’d heard of something called a Long Island Iced Tea and was anxious to make one.

Uh, none for me, thanks.

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