If there ever was a drink more closely tied to a specific American city than the mint julep is with Louisville, Kentucky, it’s news to us. 


Ever popular at the city’s biggest day of the year, the Kentucky Derby, the mint julep has been cemented as a trademark summer beverage of the American south. It’s been served at the derby for nearly 100 years, to the delight of racing fans and those who are looking for something that will cool them off on a hot summer day. Some bartenders estimate that over 120 thousand juleps are made over the Kentucky Derby weekend in Louisville. 


Historically, Kentucky bourbon or whiskey is the liquor of choice for this mix, but some recipes will list brandy, rum, or gin as alternatives (not us though). Looking to make your own this year? Here’s a recipe we like:


How to Make a Mint Julep

You’ll need:

  • Around 8 mint leaves
  • A half ounce of simple syrup
  • 2 ounces of Kentucky bourbon
  • Crushed ice


Step 1: In a chilled glass, muddle the mint leaves and simple syrup.


Step 2: Add the bourbon and ice.


Step 3: Stir with a bar spoon to combine the ingredients


Step 4: Top with additional ice and mint for garnish


Step 5: Sit back and enjoy the race!