Mint Julep Recipes for Derby Day

They call it the most exciting two minutes in sports. But whether or not you care about the race itself, the Kentucky Derby is a fine excuse to wear funny hats and, most importantly, to drink mint juleps. And while there’s no rule that says you can’t enjoy a nice julep every day of the year, it’s damn near un-American to forgo the refreshing, bourbon-spiked staple while watching the Derby.

So below, some fine mint juleps to hoist on race day.

grandstand julep cocktail


1.5 oz Cynar
.75 oz Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon
.5 oz Simple Syrup
.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.5 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
12 Mint Leaves
2 oz Soda Water
2 Dashes Fee Brother’s Grapefruit Bitters

In a Julep cup or rocks glass add mint and all ingredients except soda water and bitters. Gently muddle, add ice then soda and top with bitters.

silver cup mint julep

By Jim Meehan, PDT (NYC)

1.75 oz TINCUP American Whiskey
.5 oz Lustau Pedro Ximénez Sherry
.25 oz Peach Street Distillers Peach Brandy
8 Mint Leaves

In a julep glass, muddle the mint leaves with the sherry, then add the rest of the spirits and pebble ice. Swizzle, then add more pebble ice (forming a mound) and three mint sprigs for garnish. Serve with a steel straw.

bernheim bugler mint julep

By Vincenzo Marianell, The Independence Tavern (Santa Monica)

2 oz Bernheim Whiskey
.75 oz apricot liqueur
.75 oz fresh lemon juice
.75 oz organic apple juice
.25 oz simple syrup
3-4 dashes Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter Bitters
10-15 Mint leaves

Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a highball glass over crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and apple fan.

queen's julep

By Bob Peters, Punch Room (Charlotte)

1.33 oz Bulleit Bourbon
.5 oz Simple Syrup
.5 oz Branca Menta
8 Mint Leaves

Muddle mint leaves in a shaker. Pour Bulleit Bourbon, simple syrup and Branca Menta into the shaker with ice and shake. Double strain and pour over crushed ice in a julep cup. Garnish with fresh mint sprig.

Written by Kevin Gray

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