Mint Juleps

The official drink of the Kentucky Derby is also a tradition at Derby Day parties throughout Texas. But why limit drinking these concoctions to just one day a year? A cold julep in its frosty cup is very refreshing on any hot Texas summer day. If you do not have the special silver plated cups for the drink, you can make do with a regular glass. Mint juleps are served at the Kentucky Derby in a highball glass.

But why cheat yourself out of the correct barware? You can buy mint julep cups here. Another extremely useful item when making these - a long bar spoon!

  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 ounce of simple syrup
  • Powdered sugar
  1. Use a muddler to bruise the mint sprig on the bottom and up the side of the julep cup. Discard.
  2. Add one ounce of bourbon and fill cup with crushed ice. Stir. Add the second ounce of bourbon and add more crushed ice. Pour the simple syrup over the top (like a snowcone) and stir until frosty. (The metal cup draws the cold out quickly)
  3. Top off with more crushed ice. Spank the remaining sprig of mint and place it in the cup. If you like, dust the mint with powdered sugar. This gives it a frosted effect.
  4. If you wish to make multiple mint juleps for a party, mix up one or two batches of mint syrup. (See recipe below)
  5. Makes 1 Mint Julep

To make Mint Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves

In a saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a simmer, exactly like making simple syrup. Add the mint and allow it to steep for about ten minutes. Strain out the mint and let cool. This can be stored up to one month in the refrigerator.

More about the history and traditions of mint juleps in Mint Juleps: The Southern Drink of Choice.

Ready in: 20 Min

Kitchen tools you'll need for Mint Juleps:
Bar Spoon, Blenders or Ice Crushers, Julep Cups

Recipe editor Patricia Mitchell