The Mint Julep is a mixed alcoholic cocktail with firm roots in the cuisine of the Southern United States. It is the traditional cocktail served at the Kentucky Derby.
Kentucky Derby Mint Julep

Mint Julep
Prep time
Mix time
Total time
The Southern classic is perfect for Derby day, but ideal in hot weather (not too hot) as a refreshing cooler.
Recipe type: Alcoholic Cocktails
Cuisine: American
Serves: 44
  • 2 Cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Cups water (branch water is ideal)
  • fresh mint sprigs
  • crushed Ice
  • Kentucky Bourbon (2 ounces per serving)
  • fresh mint for garnish
  1. Make a simple mint syrup* by boiling sugar and water together for 5 minutes; cool.
  2. Place in a covered container with 6 or 8 bruised mint sprigs.
  3. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Make a julep by filling a julep cup* or glass with crushed ice, then adding 1 tablespoon of mint syrup and 2 ounces of Bourbon.
  5. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost outside of cup or glass.
* This makes enough syrup for about 44 juleps.

Garnish with a fresh mint sprig.

Extra Tips: Always use a premium Kentucky Bourbon.

Use crushed or shaved ice and pack in cup.

To bruise mint, place in a cup and gently pass the back of a spoon between cup and the leaves a time or two. You want the mint to release some of the fragrant oils.

Add a straw cut to protrude just above the rim of the cup and serve. You should be able to get a faint whiff of the mint sprig when you're sipping.

Keep the covered syrup in the refrigerator (after removing the mint leaves) if you don't plan on drinking all the servings.

Try our Non-Alcoholic version, the Kentucky Derby Julep.

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