Mint Julep Recipe: The Southern Summer Classic

Mint Julep Recipe

Mint Julep is the thirst quenching summer cocktail with a naturally sweet and cool relish served in silver or copper julep cups. With its strong connection to the Kentucky Derby, such an event won’t be complete without this refreshing drink being served to the crowd. Not only is this cocktail a means to beat the scorching heat, but it is also an icon, an important part of the celebration of American culture.

Did You Know? National Mint Julep Day is held every May 30, and Mint Julep Month runs from April 4 to May 4. Share this trivia!

You won’t have to wait for the next Kentucky Derby to have a taste of this cocktail. Try this easy Mint Julep recipe yourself! 

Mint Julep Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. Powdered sugar
  • 4 Mint leaves
  • 2 tsp. Water
  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • Sprig of mint for Garnish

Mint Julep Preparation:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a copper julep cup.You may also do so in a highball glass to easily mix them.
  2. Muddle the mint leaves in the bottom together with sugar and water then fill the glass with crushed ice.
  3. Add the Bourbon into the julep cup and stir.
  4. Finish the drink garnished with mint sprigs and serve in pewter cups.
Enjoyed making this drink? Share this recipe!

Did You Know? Mint Julep is not only a favorite choice but the actual official cocktail of the Kentucky Derby since 1938. Share this trivia!

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Recipe Variations

Bartenders get creative and make their own versions of this Southern cocktail. Here are some twists to the recipe that are exceptionally in-demand. 
  • Cherry Mint Julep - Create an extra summer vibe that’s especially recommended when the cherries are in season. 
  • Blackberry Mint Julep - Gives a fruity taste that compliments the cool mint flavor of the drink. 
  • Peach Mint Julep - A simple addition of peaches is an easy yet delicious upgrade to the original recipe!

Know Your Ingredients!

Having merely three main ingredients, the Mint Julep is not only perfect as a refreshing drink but also convenient choice for a huge event such as the Kentucky Derby.
  • Powdered sugar - Finely ground sugar that is also called confectioner’s sugar.
  • Mint leaves - The component in the recipe that helps refresh the drink’s patron. 
  • Bourbon - The type of whiskey specifically produced in Kentucky.

Bar Accessories 

Standard bar equipment are just what you need to make your own cup of this refreshing drink. 

The History 

‘Julep’ came from the Persian word ‘gul-ab’ which means ‘rosewater’. The word was used and transferred over different languages and thus landed as ‘julep’ in English. The combination of mint, sugar or simple syrup and Bourbon was originally used by farmers to wake themselves up (like how coffee does!) and start working early in the morning. It became associated with the Kentucky Derby around the 1820s when stunning silver julep cups were awarded to the first placers of the event. The person who made building the Churchill Downs racetrack possible, Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr., introduced the drink in the races in 1875 and it became the Kentucky Derby’s official drink in 1938. 

Did You Know? The most expensive Mint Julep is served in a gold-plated cup and is worth $2,500. Share this trivia!

The Rise in Fame

Mint Julep may be the star during Derby season, but its popularity falls once winter kicks in. Nevertheless, the support it receives from its loyal enthusiasts from USA-especially those in Kentucky, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Mississippi-, Canada, Thailand, New Zealand, and Australia surely keeps Mint Julep on the menu. 

The Perfect Pair

There are several dishes traditionally paired with Mint Julep during Derby season, and among those are bread with Benedictine spread, ham biscuits, bite-sized Bourbon treats, Hot Browns, and, of course, chocolate Derby pie.These are the best to choose from if you are considering having your own Derby party.

See What Others Think

 
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This is the "Cherry Julep".. ~ It is international #fathersday today, and wanted to say thank you to my dad, by making him a refreshing cocktail, using one of his favorite scotch, the Glenfiddich 12 year old single malt. Happy fathers day to all dads out there! ~ Ingredients: ▪︎50ml @glenfiddichwhisky 12 year old ▪︎10ml cherry liqueur ▪︎20ml simple syrup (1:1) ▪︎10ml fresh lemon juice ▪︎4-5 pitted cherries ▪︎4-5 mint leaves ~ Glassware #sponsored by @udarely. Use coupon code thegandtonic to receive a 20% discount on any purchases from www.udarely.com ~ In a cocktail shaker, muddle the cherries with the mint leaves, add the rest of the ingredients and shake well with ice. Pour over crushed ice in a julep cup and garnish with mint leaves and fresh cherries. ~ Recipe by @the.g.and.tonic Cocktail and photography by @the.g.and.tonic All rights reserved by @the.g.and.tonic ___________ #fathersday #fathersdaycocktail #sponsored #udarely #cocktailsofinstagram #imbibe #drinkup #drinkstagram #mixologist #mixologyguide #cocktailtime #cocktail #cocktailphotography #cherries #julep #mintjulep

A post shared by Giorgos | The G & Tonic (@the.g.and.tonic) on

We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Updated: October 28, 2019.

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