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  • Writer's pictureMeg Williams

Cocktail: Mint Julep

It's (finally) Derby Weekend! The traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby is the mint julep. Rich and I love these and normally have a julep tasting at the shop. But, since 2020 is different, and we are going to continue to socially distance, we thought we'd give you our recipe to try making them at home!


  • Mint sprigs

  • Sugar cubes (or simple syrup)

  • Bourbon whiskey

The traditional recipe at the derby uses Woodford Reserve Bourbon or Old Forrester (both of which we carry) but you can always ask Rich for a suggestion to modify this recipe to fit your flavor profile.


  1. Tear 4 to 5 large mint leaves off of the sprigs. They don't need to be neatly torn, in fact, the messier the tear the more flavor you'll get out of them. You can add more mint leaves for more flavor too.

  2. Put the mint leaves and 1 sugar cube (or 1/2 oz simple syrup into a glass.) This cocktail is normally served in either a bronze julep cup, a Collins glass, or an old fashioned glass.

  3. Muddle the mint and sugar together until they form a paste in the bottom of the glass. You may need a couple drops of water if you are using a sugar cube to help it dissolve.

  4. Add 2 1/2 oz of bourbon

  5. Fill the glass with crushed ice to the top.

  6. Garnish with a mint sprig. At the derby you'll often see these enjoyed with a straw.

  7. Enjoy (and then make another!)

Come see us to pick up some bourbon! Tony's carries mint too so we can help you get all set up for your virtual Derby watch party (or any other plans you may have this weekend!) Cheers!

Fun Facts

  • In 2016 it was estimated that 127,000 mint juleps were served at the Kentucky Derby, using 10,000 bottles of bourbon, about 475,000 pounds of crushed ice, and 2,250 pounds of fresh mint.

  • The average cost of a mint julep at the Derby is $15, but a custom version of the cocktail is available for $2,500--which includes a souvenir cup.

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