By Renae Frey

How to Make the Traditional Mint Julep of Kentucky Derby

Are you having a Kentucky Derby Party? You definitely need to serve the classic mint julep- I have the best recipe for you..

Hey Friends!

Welcome! I am so glad that you are here. I always enjoy our time together. 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 Traditional 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

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. 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 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, almost 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.

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 water.

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

See the YouTube “How To” video below.

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

Step 2: Using a pestle, gently muddle a couple of mint leaves in a silver mint julep cup

Step 3: Add crushed ice, bourbon and simple syrup.

Step 4: Enjoy!

Peacock Ridge Farm Blog, Classic Mint Julep

Classic Mint Julep

Serving Size:
10 minutes


  • Simple Syrup
  • Bourbon
  • Crushed Ice
  • Fresh Mint leaves


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Enjoy.

These delicious classic mint juleps are so good with Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches. See the recipe here. For a beautiful Kentucky Derby tablescape, see post here.

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

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Renae Frey

Beautiful interiors don’t have to come with an outrageous price tag. My style is what I like to call Vintage French Farmhouse, I love mixing decorating styles, especially opposites like the glitz of a chandelier dripping in crystals with a chair upholstered in worn aged leather. Refined, yet not too formal-but, livable, elegant traditional design, adding warmth and vintage elements.

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