Home ยป Cocktail

Mint Julep Cocktail | Kentucky Derby Style

Best known as Kentucky’s most iconic cocktail, the mint julep is way too delicious to reserve for Derby Day. This mint julep recipe is made with bourbon, simple syrup, and fresh mint for a surprisingly refreshing whiskey cocktail you’ll love.

close up of the sterling silver glass filled with the julep in front of the clear glass and mint in the background

I had my first mint julep drink many years back. We were at our cousins house and it was Derby day. They asked me if I wanted to try one, and since I’m usually a creature of habit and have been feeling ‘stuck’ in my tastes, I said, “Sure, why not?”

I branched out and tried this bourbon cocktail because – unlike when it comes to food, where I’m adventurous and will try and like different and sometimes unpopular delicacies like kidney stew – when it comes to the drinks I make for myself, I tend to rehash the same ol’ repertoire.

Once I took a sip of this delicious drink, the melding of the flavors delighted my tastebuds. So from that day forward, I enjoyed the taste of the many drinks that have since crossed my path.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you click the link and buy something. You can read my disclosure here.

Helpful tips

  • Buy the freshest mint leaves you can find. I find that it mint lasts for a little over a week in the refrigerator.
  • Muddling herbs or fruit in a cocktail is fun and easy. Here’s how to muddle the mint for this julep: place the mint and simple syrup in the glass. Next, take a muddler or if you don’t own one, the back of a wooden spoon and crush the mint with the syrup until you bruise the leaves and can smell the mint without sticking your nose in the glass. Now you’re ready for the next step.
  • Since this cocktail only has 3 ingredients, use the best bourbon you can afford.
  • Want to learn more about bourbon and all things whiskey? Here’s my comprehensive guide you might enjoy.
  • Make your own simple syrup. It is easy and economical. Here’s how – Place 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan and heat on medium. Once it comes to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Allow the simple syrup to completely cool before adding to your cocktails.
  • You will be building this cocktail in the glass and although you see two cocktails in the photos below, I am writing the recipe for one cocktail.
  • The mint julep recipe is usually served in a metal cup like I use. The reason is because it keeps the cocktail cold and allows the ice to melt slowly. But if you don’t have one, you can use a double old fashioned glass, high ball glass or rocks glass.

How to make a mint julep

Pre-step

Get the glassware, measuring glass and muddler.

After measuring out the ingredients, add them to the metal cup.

Step one

Gather the ingredients – Bourbon, simple syrup and mint.

Bourbon, simple syrup and mint along with a measuring glass, muddler, glass and stainless steel glass on the table

Step two

Measure out 1/2 ounce of simple syrup.

Simple syrup measured with the glasses with mint in the background

Step three

Place the mint in the bottom of the glass, pour the simple syrup on top and muddle away until you can smell the aroma of mint without sticking your nose in the cup.

This shows the leaves muddled to perfection. Notice the bruising of the mint.

A clear glass and a stainless steel glass filled with the mint leaves and simple syrup muddled

Step four

Measure out 2.5 ounces of bourbon.

Bourbon measured out with the bottle in the background

Step five

Add crushed ice to the glass and pour the bourbon over it. This will cause some of the ice to melt so add more if you like.

Add at least one fresh mint sprig to the cocktail, but I love lots of fresh mint leaves to garnish the cocktail.

Clear glass filled with the julep with mint sticking out of it. The sterling silver glass is in the background

See how much the ice melts?

It didn’t help that I photographed this recipe during a heatwave.

Overhead view of the two glasses filled with the julep with mint sticking out of the glasses

And the vertical view.

Vertical view of the sterling silver glass with the julep in it and mint sticking out of it

Look at that frosty cup! I’m so excited to drink this.

I hope you enjoyed this mint julep cocktail recipe!

And as always, may all your dishes/drinks be delish!

If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love the know what you thought about it in the comments below. I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

Square photo of a metal cup with the julep in it with fresh mint in as a garnish

Mint Julep Cocktail

Best known as Kentucky’s most iconic cocktail, the mint julep is way too delicious to reserve for Derby Day. This mint julep recipe is made with bourbon, simple syrup, and fresh mint for a surprisingly refreshing whiskey cocktail you’ll love.
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: Cocktails
Keyword: bourbon drink, julep, mint julep
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 cocktail
Calories: 202kcal

Ingredients

  • 10 leaves of mint (hold a few aside for garnish)
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 1/2 ounces bourbon

Instructions

  • In your stainless steel cup, place the mint and syrup.
    10 leaves of mint, 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • Muddle the mint with a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon until the mint is bruised and fragrant. You should be able to smell the mint without sticking your nose in the cup.
  • Fill the cup 3/4 full with crushed ice.
  • Pour bourbon on ice.
    2 1/2 ounces bourbon
  • Add more ice, add some mint on top, stick your straw in and stir
  • Get on your Kentucky Derby hat
  • Sip
  • Smile
  • Enjoy
See all my favorite tools and gift ideas at my Amazon Store page!Check out Elaine’s Amazon Store!

Notes

Helpful tips
  • Buy the freshest mint you can find. I find that it mint lasts for a little over a week in the refrigerator.
  • Muddling herbs or fruit in a cocktail is fun and easy. Here’s how to muddle the mint for this julep: place the mint and simple syrup in the glass. Next, take a muddler or if you don’t own one, the back of a wooden spoon and crush the mint with the syrup until you bruise the leaves and can smell the mint without sticking your nose in the glass. Now you’re ready for the next step.
  • Since this cocktail only has 3 ingredients, use the best bourbon you can afford.
  • Make your own simple syrup. It is easy and economical. Here’s how – Place 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan and heat on medium. Once it comes to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Allow the simple syrup to completely cool before adding to your cocktails.
  • You will be building this cocktail in the glass and although you see two cocktails in the photos below, I am writing the recipe for one cocktail.

Nutrition

Serving: 4ounces | Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Sodium: 9mg | Sugar: 10g | Iron: 0.5mg
Get new recipes in your inbox!Click here! to sign up for our newsletter

Originally published April of 2016.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




22 Comments

  1. We still have some summer weather left…even though Fall is offically here tomorrow. I would love this on the patio…in the afternoon sun….and a nice fall day.

    1. Hehe! Yes, Gloria. And I’m one of the few who doesn’t follow seasonal cocktails. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have everything year round. Thank you for your comment!

        1. Yay. I get so envious of people with herb gardens. I think I’m going to have to get an aerogarden so I can have one too! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks Sam!

  2. This mint julep cocktail looks absoloutly perfect and amazing! i love mint and will never stop loving it. I can put my homegrown mint into this as well, which i am very excited for! thank you for sharing this recipe.

  3. We live right next door to Louisville in Indiana and the Derby is super big. We’ve had our parties plus the mint julep cocktail. I’ve had several and I’ve wanted to have my own recipe — I can’t wait to make this. If I find some fresh mint I may start practicing making this cocktail early. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Hehe. How fun that you live near the Derby. I’d love to go one day. If you like bourbon, you’ll love this cocktail. Cheers Marisa and thank you.

  4. This is such a classic summertime drink for me! So refreshing on warmer days…this sounds and looks lovely! I have so much fresh mint still in my garden so I’m going to treat myself to one before the season ends!

    1. I agree Tammy, it’s such a refreshing cocktail! Fresh mint is a must in the garden. I’m hoping to plant one next year. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Sounds so refreshing with all the fresh mint inside. And it’s so simple…. Now I must make this. I know my husband will enjoy this.