The Kentucky Derby isn’t the only occasion to appreciate the revitalizing taste of a classic southern cocktail!
Relax and refresh with an authentic mint julep made right at home!
Mint juleps are a popular cocktail known to be enjoyed particularly in the south. While the drink has been heavily associated with southern culture since being named the official drink of the Kentucky Derby in 1983, southerners had actually been sipping on their juleps for over a century! In fact, Virginians were known to drink mint juleps to prepare for the day ahead as far back as 1803! The American cocktail is beloved by many across history including Theodore Roosevelt and F. Scott Fitzgerald, but not every mint julep will taste the same. Depending on the region, recipes have historically differed ever so slightly. Some may serve the drink with fresh mint leaves, and others may crush the leaves down to release the flavors and oils into the cocktail, but generally, a mint julep is a delicious drink no matter where it is enjoyed!
Mint juleps are surprisingly easy to make and don’t require a lot of ingredients for a quality drink. In only a few moments, you could be sipping on your new go-to spring cocktail, so why not try it out?
How to Make a Refreshing Mint Julep
What makes mint juleps so enjoyable, aside from the stimulating medley of flavors, is how simple they are! A quality bourbon, ice, some sweetener, and some fresh mint leaves are all you need for a delicious drink!
Choosing the right bourbon can be tricky. You want to find one that offers the right kind of notes and body to complement the intensity of the mint without too much contrast, which is why we recommend using Hotel Tango Distillery’s American Straight Bourbon Whiskey. It features delicate undertones of caramel and rye, making it perfect to sweeten a minty cocktail while still possessing a strong and balanced body. Plus, what better bourbon to reach for while making an All-American cocktail than an American whiskey?
Once you’ve settled on your spirit of choice, you also have the option of using sugar or simple syrup for your mint julep. Whichever you choose, place about a half of an ounce into your cup and top with 3-4 mint leaves.
Using a cocktail muddler or the tip of a spoon, crush the mint leaves into the sugar or simple syrup. This is going to release the oils from within the leaves, making it easier to blend with the bourbon for an even and smooth flavor.
Once the leaves are crushed sufficiently (it won’t take much effort), pour in the whiskey and crushed ice. Garnish with a mint leaf and enjoy!
For an even more invigorating mint julep, chill the glass before pouring! If you’re looking to bring the authenticity up a notch, serving mint juleps in a julep cup is an assured way to sip the refreshing cocktail in a true southern style! Julep cups are silver cups, usually chilled before serving, that are often given as commemorative gifts for special occasions and are commonly monogrammed and engraved with important dates. Serving a mint julep in a julep cup is a fun and memorable way to enjoy the drink and may even be a new tradition to share with friends and family!
Table & Thyme’s Refreshing Mint Julep Recipe
A smoky, sweet bourbon with a minty finish over ice; a sip of this mint julep is the perfect addition to a spring afternoon’s breeze.
- 4-5 fresh mint leaves
- ½ oz simple syrup or two sugar cubes
- 2 ½ oz bourbon whiskey
- Crushed ice
- Place your mint leaves in the bottom of a glass, and top with sugar cubes or simple syrup.
- Using a muddler or the back end of a spoon, mash the mint leaves into the sugar to release the oils.
- Pour the bourbon whiskey into the mixture, then add crushed ice to the top of the glass.
- Top with a fresh mint sprig.
We hope you enjoyed our recipe for a refreshing mint julep! If you tried it, let us know by sharing your experience with us and connecting with us on social media! You can follow our Instagram to be the first to see any new recipes we’re sharing and even tune into our blog where we share event highlights and tips, recipes, and more every week!
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