The Mint Julep

As we have previously mentioned, the Kentucky Derby is a sporting event immersed in tradition and spirit(s).

So what better way to watch the Run For The Roses than with a Mint Julep in hand?

The Mint Julep has been the official drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1939, although its origins trace back to the first Derby Day in 1875.

This iconic bourbon cocktail is still served to Kentucky Derby guests to this day, typically presented in silver or pewter cups that create a crisp, frosted effect.

Thousands of Derby fans will be enjoying a Mint Julep at Churchill Downs on race day, but that doesn’t mean that the classic drink can’t be just as good wherever you are.

The Kentucky Derby is close at hand- the 149th edition takes place on Saturday, May 6th.  

With that in mind, we offer you the basics in Mint Julep mixology.


  • 10 mint leaves, extra sprig for garnish
  • 1 ½ teaspoons superfine sugar
  • Seltzer water
  • Crushed ice
  • 2 ½ ounces Kentucky bourbon whiskey


At the bottom of an old-fashioned glass, place your 10 mint leaves with sugar on top. Gently muddle the two together, releasing the essential oils from the leaves.

Add a splash of seltzer water to the mixture and fill ¾ of your glass with crushed ice. Fill the rest of the glass with your Kentucky bourbon whiskey and stir well.

Once the drink is prepared, garnish it with a sprig of mint to complete the look.

Tip: Before garnishing the drink, try gently slapping the sprig with your fingers to release aromatic oils from the mint.

Then just sit back and sip on your Mint Julep as you watch the most exciting two minutes in sports. 

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