Hey, y’all! I just recently shared the recipe for the Oaks Lily, which is the signature drink of the Kentucky Oaks. It is thus important that I now share my Kentucky Mint Julep Recipe, as it is the other most popular drink served at Churchill Downs (and certainly the most iconic). The Mint Julep is the famed drink of the Kentucky Derby, which is the world’s most famous thoroughbred race + the “most exciting two minutes in sports”. Needless to say: this is a drink that you must-have at your Kentucky Derby Party this year + each year. However, I enjoy them all year long — I am a devout Kentuckian, after all.
Kentucky Mint Julep Recipe
Kentucky Mint Julep
- 2.5 oz Kentucky Bourbon
- 3/4 oz Simple Syrup
- 4-5 Mint Leaves more for garnish
- Crushed Ice
- In the bottom of a Derby glass, add simple syrup + 4-5 mint leaves. Muddle.
- Liberally fill glass with crushed ice.
- Add bourbon.
- Stir, garnish with mint, and enjoy!
The History of the Kentucky Mint Julep
The Mint Julep has been the official drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1938. However, its history is much more expansive. It was first mentioned in print in 1803; It’s also said that KY Senator Henry Clay made the drink popular in Washington, D.C. at the Round Robin Bar around 1850.
The notoriety doesn’t end there, either — many presidents have fancied the Mint Julep and many writers have made them popular in their works, such as novelists Margaret Mitchell and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Did You Know?
Each year, almost 120,000 Mint Juleps are served over the two-day period of Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby weekend at Churchill Downs Racetrack. That’s a feat that requires more than 10,000 bottles of Old Forester Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint, and 60,000 pounds of ice.
There are few cocktails that are more quintessentially southern than a Kentucky Mint Julep. From my Kentucky kitchen to your glass, I hope you’ll love each sip!
Enjoy + cheers, y’all!
Y’all come back now, ya hear?
Did you enjoy my Kentucky Mint Julep Recipe? Read my other blog posts here.