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The Perfect Mint Julep Recipe For Derby Day

The Perfect Mint Julep Recipe For Derby Day

The Perfect Mint Julep Recipe For Derby Day

Saturday June 4 is Derby Day this year, so break out your wide-brimmed Southern Belle hats, pastel jumpers and sharp suits with bow ties. It’s time to celebrate the “most exciting two minutes in sports” in style at the Kentucky Derby. It’s not just about the hats, the horses or the heels…it’s all about the Mint Juleps!

Anyone can make a Mint Julep, but do you know how to make the perfect one? If you’re hosting a party this Derby Day, you’ll want to impress your guests with the best Mint Julep this side of Churchill Downs.

History of the Mint Julep

The Mint Julep is a cocktail served at the Kentucky Derby. But it is rooted in tradition that dates back centuries when an Arabic drink known as julab was served with water and rose petals. Henry Clay, a U.S. senator from Kentucky, made the Mint Julep popular in Washington, D.C. in 1850 by requesting it at the Round Robin Bar.


It wasn’t till 1983 that the Mint Julep became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, where nearly 120,000 Mint Juleps are now served over the two-day period of Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby weekend. That translates to 10,000 bottles of Bourbon, 60,000 tons of ice, and 1,000 pounds of fresh mint.

How to Make a Classic Mint Julep

While there are many variations of the Mint Julep, we find the classic to be, well, classic! You can’t go wrong with the basic version of the Mint Julep that only requires three ingredients and three minutes of your time.

You will need:

  • 3 oz Bourbon
  • 2 sugar cubes, or 1/2 ounce of simple syrup
  • 4 mint leaves and a sprig of mint
  • Crushed ice
  • Stainless steel or copper high ball glass, Collins glass, or double old-fashioned glass

What to do:

Place the mint leaves and sugar or simple syrup into the glass. Muddle them together with a cocktail muddler or unfinished wooden spoon. This will help to dissolve the sugar and release the aroma and oil of the mint. Add the bourbon, then fill with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig, then serve with a straw. You may want to wait a few minutes so the outside of the glass frosts over. Pick up carefully and enjoy!

If you prefer your cocktails to have a bit more fizz to them, here’s an alternative to try:

  • 10 mint leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • Seltzer Water
  • Crushed ice
  • 2-1/2 ounces bourbon

Now that you’re armed with the perfect Mint Julep recipe, you can host your Derby Day party in style while showing off your cocktail skills for the crowd.

Buy in Bulk at Beverage Universe!

We’ve got all your favorite beverages at low bulk prices, including some of the fixings you need to make the perfect Mint Julep or any other mixed drink you prefer this Derby Day!

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