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Mint Julep Cocktail


Mint Julep Cocktail

Mint Julep

Photo © Molly Watson
The key to a good mint julep? The answer is two-fold: decent bourbon and fresh mint. Make this classic accompaniment to the Kentucky Derby any time you find yourself in possession of supremely fresh mint leaves and a desire to kick back and slowly, ever-so-slowly, sip a cocktail. I recommend good company and a sunny sky as the best companions to this mild-sounding but punch-packing drink.

If you happen to have some Mint Simple Syrup around, that can make quick work of this cocktail. If you do use it, however, be sure to garnish the drink with a few fresh mint leaves just to make it look pretty.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes


  • About 20 mint leaves, plus more for garnish if you like
  • 2 tsp. sugar or 2 tsp. simple syrup or mint simple syrup
  • 2 to 3 oz. bourbon
  • Plenty of crushed ice


  1. Put mint leaves and sugar (or simple syrup or mint simple syrup) in Mint Julep cup, old-fashioned glass, or similar vessel.
  2. Muddle leaves and sugar until sugar dissolves. This will take a minute or two and a bit of effort. Do not be discouraged - the sugar and mint will come together in a lovely, fragrant mash.
  3. Add bourbon, stir. Fill glass with plenty of crushed ice and stir until an icy frost develops on the outside of the glass (this will be more obvious and apparent on a metal cup than on glass).
  4. Garnish with additional mint leaves (or even an entire sprig), if you're so inclined. But in any case, serve it immediately.

Makes 1 Mint Julep Cocktail.

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Mint Julep Recipe
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