Mint Julep Cocktail the Drink of the Kentucky Derby


Post is also available in: Italian

Fresh and fragrant, Mint Julep Cocktail is one of the most popular cocktails of recent times. It’s a cocktail based on American Bourbon type whisky so it would be more correct call it Whiskey the correct name for all whiskys produced in America. The other ingredients in this cocktail are classic sugar syrup and mint, all complemented with plenty of crushed ice.

In fact, Mint Julep is defined as “Bourbon granita”. It’s a sweet and fragrant drink, which is consumed slowly, so that the ice melts and dilutes the distillate. Mint gives it a fresh and pleasant taste even at the olfactory level thanks to the bunch of mint that goes to decorate the cocktail.

mint julep recipe


The methods of preparation of Mint Julep cocktail can be different. Cold, crushing the mint with sugar and diluting with water. While hot, creating an infusion with mint subsequently sweetened, and the last one is made using the classic mint syrup, sweetening to taste and adding water.

In modern preparation, the methods used are two, the least used is the use of the shaker. All the ingredients are put in the shaker and served in the glass with ice, there are also those who crush the mint in the shaker before shaking it. The most used method is directly in the glass, crushing the mint with the syrup, adding the distillate, mixing it and completing with ice and a bunch of mint.

It’s traditionally served in typical pewter or silver glasses. Today, however, they are replaced with classic glass or with the typical flared glass made of steel.

The History of the Mint Julep Cocktail

Like many other stories about the origins of a recipe the sources are not certain, but it’s said that the Mint Julep cocktail was created around 1800 in America. It first appeared in a book published in England in 1803 by John Davis, who described it as a drink drunk in the morning by the citizens of Virginia. Helping the rise of this cocktail was Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky who introduced it to Washington D.C at the Willard Hotel bar.

In 1938 the Early Times Mint Julep Cocktail became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, one of the most famous horse races in the world. In 2006 Churchill Downs sold the Mint Julep to viewers for the “modest” sum of $ 1000 each! The reason for this exorbitant cost is that they were served in a golden glass with silver decoration and prepared with a Bourbon reserve, mint imported from Ireland, Bavarian ice and Australian sugar!

But it doesn’t stop there! In 2008 Churchill Downs built a giant glass with a capacity of 780 liters in the shape of the competition cup, filled with the Mint Julep Cocktail! Distributing the cocktail everywhere through a pumping system.

There are also variants of Mint Julep, one involves the use of gin and juniper berries, while the second is called Vodka Stinger, where Vodka is used instead of Bourbon and mint cream instead of fresh mint.

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Mint Julep Cocktail

"Mint Julep is a refreshing cocktail with an intense mint scent to be savored slowly …"
Servings 1 portion
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins


  • Julep Cup
  • Muddler
  • Mixing Spoon
  • Straw


  • 60 ml Bourbon Whiskey Jim Beam
  • 7,5 ml Sugar Syrup
  • 10 leaves Mint
  • 1 Caster Sugar cube
  • Ice crushed

Bunch of Mint


    • Put a dozen mint leaves in the glass with the syrup, the sugar cube and mash everything with the muddler.
    • Add the Bourbon to a spoonful of crushed ice and mix with the mixing spoon.
    • Fill with crushed ice, add the bunch of mint and the straws next to it.


    Always drink responsibly, don’t drink alcohol if you don’t have the legal drinking age. 
    Chef: Taira by R.J.
    Calories: 178kcal
    Course: Drinks
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: Alcoholic Cocktail
    Difficulty: Easy
    Typology: Whiskey Base
    Blending Method: On the Rocks


    Serving: 375ml | Calories: 178kcal (9%) | Carbohydrates: 10g (3%) | Sugar: 10g (11%)

    The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for the advice of a professional nutritionist.

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