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How to Make a Mint Julep

The Mint Julep became synonymous with the Kentucky Derby in 1938, but the drink's roots go all the way back to Arabia – it was adapted from a drink called the "julab" made with rose petals instead of mint leaves.


  • Step 1: Add mint Set aside a few mint leaves for garnish, and place the rest in the bottom of the glass.
  • Step 2: Add simple syrup Pour in 1/2 an ounce of simple syrup.
  • TIP: Simple syrup is simply sugar water, made by dissolving 2 parts unrefined sugar into 1 part boiling water. Let cool before using.
  • Step 3: Muddle combination Muddle the combination gently to unleash—but not bruise—the mint's scent, flavor, and overall essence in the glass.
  • TIP: A muddler is a wooden rod used to mash up ingredients. If you don't have one, the back of a spoon works just as well.
  • Step 4: Add ice Fill the glass with crushed ice.
  • Step 5: Add bourbon Add two ounces of bourbon.
  • Step 6: Stir Stir the cocktail.
  • Step 7: Garnish & serve Add the mint leaves and swizzle stick as garnish, and serve. Now it's time to get your bets down.
  • FACT: The Mint Julep originally caught on in the colonial United States as a breakfast drink for farmers--it helped them wake up with a bang.

You Will Need

  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • 2 oz. Kentucky bourbon
  • A rocks glass or Derby cup (a traditional sterling silver or pewter cup)
  • Crushed or shaved ice
  • A muddler or long-handled spoon
  • And a swizzle stick

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