As part of our Spring 2019 rollout of White’s Elixirs brand new, Classically Classy, Mint Julep Mix, we wanted to educate you on four notable nuggets you probably don't know about the Mint Julep.
If you’re attending the Kentucky Derby, one thing you can safely bet on (other than seeing thousands of giant frilly hats) is seeing patrons downing buckets of mint juleps. In fact, each year, almost 120,000 Mint Juleps are served over the two-day period of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby weekend at Churchill Downs Racetrack. That’s a feat that requires more 2,250 pounds of freshly harvested mint, 60,000 pounds of ice, and more than 7,800 liters of bourbon!
President Calvin Coolidge, noted nondrinker and fanboy of Prohibition, permitted chickens to eat up the glorious bed of fresh mint that had flourished at the White House during julep lover Teddy Roosevelt’s tenure.
Because, you know, he was President Party Pooper.
The mint julep is sometimes associated with a family of drinks known as “smashes” (such as the brandy smash and the mojito), wherein fresh mint and ingredients are muddled or crushed in order to flavor the finished drink.
In May 2008, Churchill Downs debuted the world’s largest mint julep glass. Churchill Downs, in conjunction with Brown-Forman, commissioned the Weber Group to construct the 6-foot tall glass (7.5-foot with the mint sprig counted).
The glass was made from FDA food-grade acrylic, heated and molded into the shape of a Derby glass. It had a capacity of 206 US gallons, and was distributed with an elaborate pumping system concealed within the “stir straw.”
And don’t forget, Mint Julep month is HERE, so make sure you procure the only mint julep mix served in the Winner’s Circle in time for many a grand old celebration!
(That’s White’s Elixirs Mint Julep Mix...just, you know...in case that wasn't obvious.)
This article was written by Brad White, owner of White’s Elixirs and notable carnival barker.
The NFL’s plans for the draft experience in Nashville were tackled for a loss when Nashvillians found out that the city planned to cut down 21 trees to make room for the draft stage at Riverfront Park. With Nashville's Cherry Blossom Festival coming up on April 13 and the cherry trees in full bloom, the mayor tried to call an audible to lessen the controversy by explaining that the trees would be replaced and more planted. While this episode may be resolved soon(?), it’s another illustration of the tension between feeding Nashville’s booming growth and uprooting Nashville’s past.
Food and Drink What
We may have reached peak celebrity alcohol line. Tanya Tucker now has her own tequila.
Gather your plant-protecting friends and head to the Fairgrounds this weekend. It’s time for the 4th Annual Nashville VegFest. Special guests include competitive powerlifter, Daniel Austin, oxymoronically also known as “The Vegan Meathead.”
Bonus WhatHere’s the origin of Nashville’s BNA airport code
For once and for now, we’re here to help settle the history of Nashville Hot Chicken. Here’s one recent take from the New Yorkerabout the first family of Nashville Hot Chicken (which you’ll soon be able to enjoy downtown). A little while back, Nashville native Rachel Martin documented How Hot Chicken Really Happened (Photo by Joe Buglewicz) in the Bitter Southerner. Next step: send a Hot Chicken Gift Batch to a friend who can handle the heat.
Food & Drink What
Martin’s has made all of our midtown BBQ dreams come true. If you don’t want to get caught in line with Belmont kids, overpay for parking downtown, or live in Nolensville or Mt. Juliet, you can now hit the old Logan’s (which is looking super saucy now) on Elliston starting yesterday.
It’s card season (Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, teacher appreciation, graduations, sorry I forgot your birthday) and thankfully Lisa Sarmento and her delightfully cheeky line of stationery can get your recipients laughing and happy to know you. Check out her full interview.
The Nashville Elvis Festival gyrates into the Franklin Theatre this weekend. Put on your blue suede shoes and watch 20 of the top Elvis tribute artists from around the world compete in the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. Stick around on Sunday for a special bonus: John Schneider in concert (John Schneider/Elvis trivia: Schneider's very first hit was 1981’s cover of Elvis Presley’s “It’s Now Or Never,” which reached #4 on the Billboard Country chart. It remains the top charting Elvis cover of all time in any genre to date.).
As the weather warms, we found the perfect mobile party spot.
If you're not in the know, Askinosie Chocolate is a small batch, award winning chocolate factory located in Springfield, Missouri, sourcing 100% of their beans directly from farmers. Since they've been around, a lot of good has happened and Shawn was in Nashville to share lessons from his time in the trenches, most of which he details in his book, Meaningful Work: A Quest To Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, And Feed Your Soul.
While we gathered 'round on a stormy night at Barista Parlor, we ate chocolate while Shawn told stories of impact, meaningful work, and using your profession to make a big difference. Here are just some of the core takeaways:
Shawn began his talk with sharing about grief and the idea that grief is what sows the seeds for joy to grow. Therefore, whatever your story may be - who you are, where you come from, what challenges you've faced, what inspires you - all of this matters as you begin to think about the kind of work or company you want to create.
Shawn left a successful law practice to make chocolate, but not right out of the gate. He volunteered at a hospital. He made a lot of cupcakes and other baked goods. Then the idea of chocolate hit him out of the blue one day. But the hospital work and amateur kitchen adventures provided a bridge between his law firm and Askinosie Chocolate.
The tough part about the bridge, of course, is that when you're on it, you really just want to get to the other side. You want out of what may seem boring or tiresome at the moment. Resist that urge and instead, embrace where you are. It's the only way to get where you're going.
Shawn's first chocolate "factory"? His old law office kitchen with (very) rudimentary equipment. He eventually upgraded to professional equipment and a full factory, but not until he'd learned the art of chocolate making. Wherever you are right now, stay put. Cobble together the tools and materials you need to try the next great adventure. Don't keep saying that you'll start once everything is perfect (it never will be). Just start.
As Askinosie grew, so did the temptation to begin outsourcing some of the company's vision that Shawn birthed. Send someone else halfway around the world to source beans. Don't worry about paying farmers so much. Stop providing meals to schools that the farmers' kids attend. But those all would have disrupted the vision of why the company started. Vision matters at Askinosie, and Shawn and the team make sure everyone remembers it every day.
Askinosie only has 17 full time employees. It's profitable, but not rolling in dough. But they've provided over 1,000,000 meals to kids around the world. They pay farmers 55% better than any other buyer. And they're telling the story of the communities that support them. Any of us - no matter how big our businesses are - can begin to align our work with our heart and give to causes we believe in.
No matter what you do for a living, Shawn's book is worth checking out. And an Askinosie bar or two is worth nibbling on the next time your need to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Back before Nashvillians could feast on mediocre NFL football, locals had a steady diet of Arena League football in the form of the Nashville Kats.
The long version of the Nashville Kats history is here, but here are the highlights (we cut things down because if you love arena football, it means you can't handle the full version of anything):
The Arena League itself has been afraid of success it seems, stopping and starting a few times. They cancelled their 2009 season, and now there are only 5 teams. We're not saying that's the Kats' fault, so we'll just chalk that one up as one of life's unanswerable mysteries, like religion, how GDP works, and why people love pedal taverns so much.
HOLD THE PHONE.
In case you missed our daily rundown these last 10 days, here's the full list of our Top 10 Nashville Valentine's Gift Ideas:
You can find all of these at our retail store, open every day from 10AM - 6PM. There's still time to order online in time for Valentine's Day, too. Best of luck, lovebirds!
Here we are - less than a week out and at the end of our Top 10 Nashville Valentine's Gift Ideas.
So why not end the list, the week, and these holiday suggestions with something that's a little punny?
This simple gift packs a big sentiment, telling the recipient that you love them "berry" much. (Which is hopefully the sentiment you're going for.)
In addition to this fruit-inspired chocolate bar, we've added a candle from our pals at Paddywax so something hot can stick around long after the chocolate bar is eaten in one sitting.
Some modern advice: "When it doubt, go with what's popular."
So, yes, mom, if all my friends are doing something, I'll do it to - especially if it's giving a much-loved and homerun of a gift idea.
Case in point: our Rise & Shine Nashville Gift Batch. Year after year, this gift is at the top of our Most Given list since it packs such a powerful breakfast punch.
Seriously - this gift (especially the deluxe version) has it all:
Best of all, we donate the equivalent of 20 meals towards our partners at Second Harvest Food Bank. Win win.
As always, our gift batches ship for free and can include a handwritten note. Grab one today, or visit our retail store inside the Nashville Farmers Market (open every day from 10AM-6PM).
Everyone loves chocolate (seriously - everyone). Since we aim to make Valentine's Day shopping easy and painless for you, we've rounded up six Choco-tastic items from local small makers, boxed them up all pretty, and are ready to ship them out to your choco-holic Valentine.
This batch has everything: Hot chocolate on a stick, cordials, chocolate-covered pecans, a chocolate bar, and peppermint bark. Did we miss anything?
We didn't think so.
As always, gift batches ship for free, so place your order today and we'll guarantee this will arrive by Valentine's Day (it's next week, people!). Plus, we'll include a hand-written note, making you appear way more thoughtful than you usually are.
Or, run into our retail store (open every day from 10AM - 6PM) and add even more chocolate awesomeness if you want.
Take a look...it's in a book...reading Nashville! (Cue LeVar Burton.)
Nashville isn't just a great place to come eat, drink, ride a pedal tavern and take a selfie with a mural. It's also a great place to read about, no matter how old you are. That's why today's Valentine gift idea is all about Nashville books.
Here are our four favorite Nashville-themed books that you can give to any Valentine in your life:
Whether it's looking and what makes Nashville so Nashville, learning how to cook Nashville, or sharing Nashville with the next generation, we've got books that have got you covered.