8 Julep Recipes to Make for the Kentucky Derby

mint julep recipe

Mint Julep Recipes are all different. Some are built with gin or brandy while most today are made with bourbon. Some call for an entire bushel of mint to be muddled while others require just a few spanked leaves to garnish. In any case, it’s probably the strongest chuggable cocktail you’ll make all year.

Why chug it? As Chuck Cowdery points out, crushed ices melts rapidly. You can either tip that tin quickly or drink a watery cup of minty garbage. Regardless of of how you plan to drink it, here are a bunch of julep recipes I’ve stolen from around the internet.

Old Forester Official Julep Recipe

  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 2 Cups water
  • Sprigs of fresh mint
  • Crushed ice
  • Old Forester Kentucky Bourbon
  • Silver Julep Cups

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Old Forester Kentucky Bourbon. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Missouri Mint Julep

  • 2oz STilL 630 – RallyPoint Rye Whiskey
  • 4-5 mint leaves
  • 1tsp powdered sugar
  • 2tsp water

Muddle the mint leaves, powdered sugar, & water in a collins glass. Add shaved or crushed ice to fill the glass and add RallyPoint. Garnish with mint sprig. Enjoy!

There’s a barrel-aged version if you happened to have a barrel lying around.

mint julep recipe

Windy City Julep Recipe

  • 1.33 oz. Bulleit Bourbon
  • 6 oz. chilled Chicago Green River Pre-Prohibition Soda
  • Generous bouquet of slapped fresh mint

Fill a julep cup with ice cubes to chill. Fill a clean towel with ice and smash the crap out of it to crush the ice. Discard the ice cubes from the cup and fill with the crushed ice. Fill cup 3/4 full with Chilled Chicago Green River Pre-Prohibition Soda. Top with Bulleit Bourbon and a generous bouquet of slapped mint. The carbonation will naturally rise since the bourbon is heavier and the drink will naturally mix. Cut your straw short so you smell the mint.

Julep recipe by Renowned Chicago Bartender, Adam Seger

Four Roses Mint Julep Recipe

  • 2-3 oz Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 12 mint leaves
  • Club Soda
  • Garnish: mint sprigs and orange slice

Gently crush mint leaves in a cool tall glass. (Lightly muddle the mint and sugar with a splash of soda water in a mixing glass.) Fill the glass with cracked ice. Add Four Roses, club soda and stir well. Garnish with a slice of orange and a few sprigs of mint, and serve.

Woodford Reserve Ginger Julep

  • 1 1/2 oz. Woodford Reserve
  • Juice of 1/2 fresh lime
  • 1 medium piece of candied ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. molasses
  • 3 oz. bitter lemon soda

Muddle all ingredients except the soda in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Transfer to a rocks glass with ice. Fill with bitter lemon soda. Garnish with a lime twist.

mint julep recipe

Mint Old Fashioned

  • 2 parts Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 2 tsp. simple syrup
  • 3-4 dashes of aromatic bitters
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • 1 mint sprig
  • 1 orange twist

Add simple syrup, bitters and mint leaves to an old fashioned glass. Proceed to muddle. Pour bourbon into the glass and add a large piece of fresh ice. Stir until drink is cold and ingredients have mixed. Garnish with a mint stem and orange twist.

The 56 Julep

  • 2 ½ oz Wild Turkey 101 bourbon
  • 3 sprigs of mint (six to eight mature-sized leaves)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar
  • ½ cup crushed ice

In a traditional silver julep cup or double-old fashioned glass, muddle two sprigs of mint with the brown sugar and one ounce of Wild Turkey 101 for a few minutes, crushing the mint leaves with a spoon. Add the crushed ice, the remaining bourbon, and garnish with sprig of mint.

Jim Beam Mint Julep Recipe

  • 1 part Jim Beam Bourbon
  • splash water
  • pinch granulated sugar
  • finely crushed ice
  • fresh mint

In a Collins glass, dissolve the sugar in a splash of water. Fill the glass with crushed ice and add Jim Beam Bourbon. Stir contents until the glass becomes frosty, adding more ice if necessary. (Don’t hold the glass in your hand while stirring.) Garnish the glass with sprigs of mint.

Colin Joliat
About Colin Joliat 329 Articles
Colin Joliat is the brains behind this rinky-dink operation. He covers the alcohol industry with two parts information, one part comedy, and one part WTF is wrong with this guy. He's written for Brobible, Guyism, Thrillist, CoolMaterial, Craft, and more.

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