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Mint Julep Recipe

Mint Julep Recipe - a southern cocktail made with fresh mint and bourbon. The signature drink of the Kentucky Derby. So easy to make, refreshing, and absolutely delicious!

a mint julep in a clear glass with a sprig of mini in the corner.

A mint julep is the traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby but I have many fond memories of enjoying these cool and refreshing cocktails while living in New Orleans.

What Is A Mint Julep?

A mint julep is a classic cocktail made with bourbon, fresh mint and simple syrup. They're are traditionally served in a pewter or silver cup called a julep cup but if you don't have one, fee free to enjoy in a tall highball glass or other cocktail glass.

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Ingredients

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  • sugar
  • water
  • bourbon
  • mint leaves
  • ice

Best Bourbon To Use In A Mint Julep

Since I'm living in Texas now and have been for the last 20 years, I love using Texas brand, 1835 Bourbon. I also recommend using Makers Mark, Knob Creek, or your favorite brand instead.

How To Make A Mint Julep

  • First make up a simple syrup. Combine one cup of sugar and one cup of water in a saucepan. Heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool.
  • Muddle the mint leaves: Place the mint leaves in a cocktail glass. Add the simple syrup. Either steep the leaves for 10 minutes or use a muddler or a wooden spoon to muddle the leaves and syrup.
  • Make the mint julep: Add bourbon, fill the glass with ice and stir.
  • Garnish with fresh mint, if desired.

A mint julep is a drink that is easily adjusted according to your tastes. If you'd like a stronger drink, add a little more bourbon. If you'd like it sweeter, add more simple syrup.

Why Muddle The Mint?

To muddle means to press the mint leaves against the sides of a glass with a muddler or the back of a spoon. This helps to release the oils in the mint leaves and enhances the mint flavor.

Simple Syrup Alternative

I highly recommend making a simple syrup when you make a mint julep. There really is no better alternative. My suggestion is to make up a batch and keep it in your refrigerator. The syrup will last for two weeks. Use it in iced tea or to sweeten lemonade, or best of all - use it in more mint juleps.

If necessary, you can dissolve 1 tablespoon of superfine sugar in 2 ounces or water. This is not my preferred method because the sugar doesn't always dissolve well.

overhead picture of a mint julep on a lacy doily on a silver tray.

Sweet, cool and completely refreshing.

If you like this mint julep recipe, you might also like to try this wonderful Aperol Spritz recipe.

RELATED: 4 Crustless Quiche Recipes That Are So Tasty, You Won't Even Miss The Crust

Mint Julep in a glass with ice and a whiskey bottle in background

Mint Julep Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Beverage
Cuisine: American
Keywords: cocktail
Servings: 1 cocktail
Calories: 199kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

  • 3 mint leaves (plus more for garnish)
  • 2 ounces simple syrup (recipe below in recipe notes)
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • crushed ice

Instructions

  • Place the mint leaves in a cocktail glass. Add the simple syrup. Either steep the leaves for 10 minutes or use a muddler or a wooden spoon to muddle the leaves and syrup.
  • Add bourbon, fill the glass with ice and stir.
  • Garnish with fresh mint, if desired.

Notes

To make a simple syrup: Place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove pot from stove and allow syrup to cool, approximately 1 hour or longer. This will make more syrup than you will need for this recipe. Keep in the refrigerator to use later. This simple syrup will keep well in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktail | Calories: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.6g | Sodium: 1mg | Sugar: 6.3g | Vitamin A: 125IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Iron: 0.1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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