How To Prepare The Perfect Mint Julep

If you are not a fan of horse racing, then you’ve probably never heard about the Mint Julep. This is a refreshing cocktail that is perfect for a sunny day.

But at this point, you are probably wondering what horse racing has to do with a cocktail like Mint Julep.

Well, the Mint Julep is a timeless symbol of Southern hospitality and the signature cocktail of the Kentucky Derby, one of the biggest and most popular races in the world. And since horse racing is a sophisticated and classy sport, the food and drinks are just as important as the race itself.

So, if a cocktail made it to become a symbol of the Kentucky Derby, then it is definitely delicious.

For all of the people who attended the Kentucky Derby who tasted the cocktail and want to recreate it in their home as a preparation for the race, let me tell you one thing. The process of crafting the ultimate Mint Julep is much simpler than you think. You don’t need to be a cocktail master or a professional bartender.

History of the Mint Julep

The Mint Julep screams the Kentucky Derby! The drink itself is simple, rich, and full of flavor, just like the race. But how did it become the official cocktail of the Kentucky Derby?

Well, it all happened in 1938, when the Mint Julep was crowned as a signature cocktail of the race. However, wasn’t the first time that Mint Juleps were served on the Derby. In fact, the cocktail association with the event goes back much further.

We can trace the connection between the Mint Julep and the Kentucky Derby that goes back to the early 19th century when this drink was already a popular choice among horse racing enthusiasts just because it is refreshing, flavorful, and can combat the Kentucky heat.

Over time, the popularity of this cocktail grew and it became synonymous with Derby’s traditions. It is the perfect cocktail that has a blend of Southern hospitality and elegance, making it ideal for the Kentucky Derby.

Nowadays, Mint Julep is so popular that you can rarely see someone holding another drink while watching the race. That’s why more than 120,000 Mint Juleps are consumed over the Kentucky Derby Weekend.


It’s all about the experience. You get to watch the race, place a bet, and sip on a refreshing cocktail.

Just remember to do some research before betting and try to find the best picks for the race on the link below:

And don’t have too many Mint Juleps which can cloud your betting judgement.

But is it difficult to prepare? Not really. You just need a few simple ingredients.

The Ingredients

·Bourbon: The heart and soul of a Mint Julep lie in the choice of bourbon. Opt for a high-quality bourbon like Woodford Reserve or Maker’s Mark for a robust flavor profile.

·Fresh Mint: The star of the show, fresh mint leaves infuse the drink with a vibrant, herbal aroma and a hint of refreshing coolness.

·Simple Syrup: Balancing sweetness is crucial. Prepare a simple syrup by combining equal parts sugar and water, simmering until the sugar dissolves, and then cooling it.

·Crushed Ice: The texture of your ice matters. Crushed ice is essential for creating a frosty, thirst-quenching experience.

·Mint Sprigs for Garnish: Aesthetics play a part too. Garnish your Mint Julep with a sprig of fresh mint for that visual appeal.

The Method

·Muddle Mint and Syrup: Gently muddle a few fresh mint leaves with a splash of simple syrup in a sturdy glass or julep cup. This releases the volatile oils from the mint leaves without damaging them.

·Add Bourbon and Ice: Add 2 ounces of bourbon to the syrup and muddled mint. Crushed ice should be poured into the glass until it peaks just over the rim.

·Stir: Make sure the flavors meld nicely by giving the mixture a good toss with a long-handled spoon. Take a leisurely sip and let the warmth of the bourbon and the coolness of the ice dance on your tongue.


·Garnish and Savor: Place a mint sprig on top of your Mint Julep, softly smacking it to unleash its scent. This improves the whole experience of the drink in addition to adding visual flare.

Tips for Perfection

Select the Appropriate Glass: A classic julep cup made of pewter or silver lends authenticity and keeps the beverage icy.

Freshness Is Essential: For optimal flavor and scent, choose mint leaves that have just been harvested.

Try Some Different Combinations: Add some flavor to your bourbon by adding more herbs or fruits, or use flavored syrups for a unique touch.

Chill Your Glass: Place your julep cup or glass in the freezer before serving to ensure maximum chill.

FAQs: Answering Your Curiosities

Can I use a different spirit instead of bourbon?

While bourbon is traditional, you can experiment with other spirits like rum or whiskey to create unique variations of the Mint Julep.

How do I make a large batch for a party?

Multiply the ingredients accordingly and mix them in a pitcher, then pour over crushed ice in individual glasses for easy serving.