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How to Make the Classic Mint Julep of Kentucky Derby

The traditional mint julep is a classic cocktail for good reason. Learn how to make this refreshing and delicious drink with our simple, step-by-step instructions. 

The traditional mint julep is a classic cocktail that has been enjoyed at Churchill Downs, home of the annual Kentucky Derby horse race. Here’s how to make this Southern gem.

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Do you love the Kentucky Derby?

Have you ever had a Mint Julep?

A classic mint julep is the traditional cocktail of the Kentucky Derby.

The cocktail is refreshing, cool and minty.

It is the perfect summery drink.

Today, I am sharing How to Make the Classic Mint Julep of Kentucky Derby.  

Come on, I’ll show you.  

Horse and Jockey statue, mint, plaid napkin, Mint Julep stainless steal cups
The best classic Mint Julep Recipe

The Kentucky Derby Party is an annual event that takes place on the first Saturday of May at Churchill Downs.

The Mint Julep is a refreshing drink made with mint, Kentucky bourbon whiskey, and simple syrup. It is the official drink of the Derby, and it has been served at the event since 1938. 

The perfect Mint Julep is achieved by using fresh mint leaves, good quality bourbon, and plenty of crushed ice. If you are hosting a Kentucky Derby Party, be sure to include the Traditional Mint Julep on your menu.

It is a refreshing and delicious way to enjoy the race. Cheers!

Bourbon whiskey, Kentucky, bourbon Derby, The best classic Mint Julep Recipe
The best classic Mint Julep Recipe

The mint julep is a refreshing drink that’s perfect for any occasion.

Whether you’re celebrating the Kentucky Derby or just want something cool and tasty to sip on a hot day, this cocktail is sure to please.

With our simple step-by-step classic mint julep recipe, you can make your own homemade mint juleps at home in no time. 

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What is a Mint Julep?

The Mint Julep is a bourbon cocktail best known for being the signature drink of the Kentucky Derby.

However, it shouldn’t be reserved for only one day a year.

It’s a refreshing combination of mint, simple syrup, bourbon and crushed ice, perfect for sipping on hot days.

The Mint Julep is traditionally served in a rocks glass or, ideally, in a silver julep cup.

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What is the difference between a mojito and a mint julep?

The Mint Julep is kind of like the Mojito of the South.

The major difference between it and the Mojito is that it uses bourbon instead of rum.

Sure, the Mint Julep is typically consumed on Derby Day, but don’t let that keep you from enjoying one whenever the mood strikes.

The perfect Mint Julep is achieved by using fresh sprigs of mint, your favorite bourbon, simple syrup and plenty of crushed ice.

If you are hosting a Kentucky Derby Party, be sure to include the official drink of the Kentucky derby, the Mint Julep on your menu. 

It is a refreshing and delicious way to enjoy the annual Kentucky Derby horse races.

Cheers! 

The best classic Mint Julep Recipe, tartan plaid napkin, Kentucky Derby, horse statue
The best classic Mint Julep Recipe.

What is The Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby is a horse race held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, always on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. 

The competition is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds at a distance of one and a quarter miles at Churchill Downs. 

Churchill Downs is a horse racing complex famed for hosting the annual Kentucky Derby. 

It officially opened in 1875 and was named for Samuel Churchill, whose family was prominent in Kentucky for many years. 

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Bourbon, crushed ice, fresh mint and simple syrup.

How to Make Simple Syrup

Step 1:  Make the simple syrup.  If you can boil water, you can make simple syrup. 

The staple cocktail sweetener more than earns its name, consisting, simply, of equal parts granulated sugar and cold water. Add to a stainless steel sauce pan over medium high heat until the sugar dissolves.  Let cool.

Stainless steal pan, stove top, wooden spoon, bowl of sugar

Step 2: Using a pestle and mortar, gently muddle a couple of fresh mint leaves in 1/2 ounce simple syrup in a silver mint julep cup or rocks glass.

Step 3: Add crushed ice, 2 1/2 ounces of bourbon.  Add a sprig of mint.

Step 4: Enjoy! 

Whether you’re a bourbon lover or not, we think you’ll enjoy this delicious and refreshing mint julep.

 

Stainless Steal cups, mint leaf, wooden handle jigger, The best classic Mint Julep Recipe.
The best classic Mint Julep Recipe.

–Want to take the mint julep cocktail up a notch?  Why not make mint syrup.  Just add a sprig of fresh mint while cooking the simple syrup.  There you have it, Minted Simple Syrup.

–There are a lot of bourbon to choose from.  Try Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Jack Daniels, Old Forester or any good bourbon for your Kentucky Derby Cocktail.

Whether you’re a bourbon lover or not, we think you’ll enjoy this delicious and refreshing mint julep.

Be sure to subscribe to our blog for more recipes like this one, and follow us on Pinterest and YouTube to watch our latest cocktail creations in action.

Cheers!

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The best classic Mint Julep Recipe, tartan plaid napkin, Kentucky Derby, horse statue

Traditional Mint Julep of Kentucky Derby

Renae Frey
The traditional mint julep is a classic cocktail for good reason. Learn how to make this refreshing and delicious drink with our simple, step-by-step instructions.
The traditional mint julep is a classic cocktail that has been enjoyed at Churchill Downs, home of the annual Kentucky Derby horse race. Here's how to make this Southern gem.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine American
Servings 1 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
  • 2 1/2 oz Bourbon
  • 2 Fresh Mint leaves
  • Crushed Ice

Instructions
 

  • In a small sauce pan, add 1 1/2 c water and 1 1/2 c granulated sugar.
  • Heat to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Let cool before using.
  • In a silver Mint Julep cup, add 1 1/2 oz. of simple syrup and a few mint leaves-muddle mint leaves.
  • Add ice and 2 oz. bourbon.
  • Garnish with a mint leaf.
  • Enjoy.

Video

Keyword Churchill Downs, horse race, Southern gem, Kentucky Derby, Churchill downs, derby, traditional mint julep, classic cocktail, refreshing, delicious, cocktail

While you’re at it, why not grab your big hat and throw a Kentucky Derby Party.

I have some great ideas for decorating the perfect Derby Table.

How to Create a Beautiful Kentucky Derby Tablescape.

These delicious classic mint juleps are so good with Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches or Derby Pie.

I hope that you enjoyed seeing How to Make the Classic Mint Julep of Kentucky Derby. If so, please Pin It!

Horse and Jockey statue, mint, plaid napkin, Mint Julep stainless steal cups
The best classic Mint Julep Recipe

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Whether you’re celebrating Derby Day, enjoying a summer barbecue, or just want something refreshing and tasty, this cocktail is sure to please.  

The mint julep is the perfect drink for any occasion. 

With our simple instructions, you can make your own mint juleps at home in no time. Be sure to subscribe to our blog and Pinterest boards for more delicious recipes

And don’t forget to watch our video tutorial on how to make the perfect mint julep. 

Are you having a Kentucky Derby Party? Are you serving a crowd? I have the best Kentucky Derby Sandwich Recipe

Thanks for reading! 

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