I’m not sure there’s a single cocktail that ties in so many aspects of my life than the mint julep.
Yep, the mint julep.
The story starts back in 2008, before I was ever into cocktails, and the thought of spending more than $4 for a rum and coke seemed ludicrous.
My girlfriend at the time (and now wife) was designing apparel for Nike golf and one of her projects as to design the pattern for the American Ryder Cup team uniform.
Pretty cool job, right?
Well that year the tournament happened to be at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. The course has been rated among the Top 100 golf courses in the country.
Of course at the time, I was doing none of this. I was not in the least bit pretentious, let alone slightly pretentious.
At the time of the Ryder Cup as a thank you, Tate was given a sterling silver julep cup from Tiffany’s that I never paid much attention to, apart from to say, “wow, looks cool!”
About 5 years later, after I started Breaking Eighty, I found that julep cup in a blue Tiffany’s bag and took it out to see that it was engraved with the 2008 Ryder Cup crest.
It was all coming full circle. My love of cocktails, golf, and travel all baked into one cocktail: the mint julep.
So it seems only fitting that I share with you my recipe for how I make a mint julep, a delicious yet often overlooked drink.
The History of the Mint Julep
The julep is one of the oldest cocktails you’ll find, with mentions going back into the 1700s as an elixir to settle your stomach.
But it gained worldwide fame and notoriety when it was named the official drink of the Kentucky Derby in 1938.
To this day, you can’t think of a mint julep without picturing horses and fancy people with ridiculous hats.
Each year nearly 120 THOUSAND juleps are served at Churchill Downs. That is a LOT of cocktails.
I most often make mint juleps in May when I’m starting to look for a lighter refreshing cocktail, and the world becomes interested in horse racing for about 3 days out of the year.
But I found myself recently pulling out that sterling silver cup and making them at home, despite not being springtime. And you know what? I loved it.
How to Make a Mint Julep
First off, I love any drink that comes with it’s own specific type of glass. Julep, Moscow Mule, Martini – there’s just something romantic about having a signature glass you serve a cocktail in – and maybe none more so than the mint julep.
The reason for the julep cup is so that the crushed
So how do you make a mint julep? It’s actually surprisingly easy.
For starters you take 8 spearmint leaves and muddle them with 1/2 an ounce of simple syrup. From there you pour in 2oz of bourbon, add crushed
I often hear people say they can’t make this, or say tiki drinks, because they don’t have access to crushed
Lucky for you, crushed
Put a bunch of
There you have it: crushed
You’ll find some recipes, like the one used at the Kentucky Derby, call for 2.5 or 3 oz of bourbon. Feel free to do as you please! This is a versatile drink and it’s pretty tough to screw up.
If you add more liquor and it feels a little too strong, then add an extra 1/4 oz of simple syrup, and/or stir a bit longer before topping with
So, next time your friends come over for that epic derby party you’ve always sworn you’d host – now you have a cocktail recipe worthy of the occasion.
Also upon doing a little more research for this article, it’s clear that maybe I shouldn’t be making cocktails in said Tiffany’s cup. Yowza, $$$$!
Mint Julep Recipe
Mint Julep Recipe (Easy and Delicious)
- Silver Cup
- Crushed Ice Maker
- 2 oz Bourbon
- .5 oz Simple Syrup
- 8 Leaves Spearmint
- Combine the simple syrup and mint and muddle in julep glass
- Add 2oz of bourbon
- Add crushed ice and stir for 10-15 seconds
- Top with more crushed ice
- Garnish with mint leaves
Looking for some other cocktails that feel similar to the mint julep? We got you. Check out:
- Peach Old Fashioned – If you were looking for a “southern version” of an old fashioned, I think it would taste something like this.
- Whiskey Sour – Sweet, citrus, bourbon. What more could you ask for?
- Smokescreen Cocktail – Another cocktail that uses mint to wonderful effect. It switches out the bourbon for two different types of scotch – and boy is it good.