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Walden’s Angry Orchard has connection to Kentucky Derby mint juleps



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Getting your mint juleps ready for Saturday?

Saturday is the 146th Run for the Roses, the Kentucky Derby.

Normally held the first Saturday in May, this year’s event was postponed due to the pandemic; it is the first time the historic race has been postponed since the end of World War II. 

And normally, the grandstands of Churchill Downs are packed with 150,000 fans, many of them sipping a classic mint julep, the “official” drink of the Derby, which is made with bourbon, mint and a little powdered sugar.

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According to estimates, 120,000 juleps, made with half a ton of fresh mint, are served at Churchill Downs during the Derby each year.

Things will be a little different this year for fans – who will be sipping their juleps at home while they watch the race on TV – and for the mint farmers that supply Churchill Downs with all that mint. 

An Orange County cidery found a use for it.

Angry Orchard collaborated with a farm in Louisville, Kentucky, to purchase and utilize the surplus of mint. It will be used in a limited release hard cider, Angry Orchard Barrel Aged Mint Julep Cider. 

A twist on the classic, the Barrel Aged Mint Julep is aged in bourbon barrels and blended with fresh mint.

“Experimenting with different cider styles and working with new ingredients is what we do best here at Angry Orchard,” said Ryan Burk, the head cider maker. “Utilizing the surplus of fresh mint from Nelson Family Agriculture in Kentucky and blending with our barrel aged cider created a complex, cocktail-inspired cider best enjoyed as late-summer quickly turns to harvest season.”

The cider will be available in bottles to-go starting Saturday at the Orchard. Angry Orchard is located at 2241 Albany Post Rd, Walden, New York, angryorchard.com; 845-713-5180

Karen Croke is the features editor for lohud.com and poughkeepsiejournal.com.

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