A julep was originally a mixture of sweet syrup or sugar, herbs or other flavoring, and water and was used throughout centuries for medicinal purposes. The Mint Julep, the signature drink of the Kentucky Derby and allegory of southern lifestyle, has been around for more than 200 years. Although the origins are somewhat blurry, the bourbon based Mint Julep can be considered a quintessential summer drink for hot and humid climates such as the Southern United States.
Traditional Southern-Style Mint Julep:
- 4 ounces Kentucky Bourbon
- 1 teaspoon simple syrup
- 5 or 6 mint sprigs
Fill a collins glass or a sterling silver mint julep cup with crushed ice and pour the liquid ingredients over the ice. Stir well until the cup or glass is frosty. Garnish with the mint.
The Muddled Mint Julep: Fill syrup into a chilled old-fashioned glass or julep cup. Muddle a dozen mint leaves in the syrup and fill the glass with crushed ice. Add bourbon and stir well until glass is frosty. Add mint sprig.
Back to Classic Cocktails