Mint Juleps

The quintessential Derby drink is a potent mix of bourbon, sugar, and mint.

mint julep
Spring! That means the Kentucky Derby (this Saturday) and the Mint Julep–the rare convergence of sports and an extremely elegant libation. The drink is so refreshing, so potent that you might want to throw a julep party this weekend. Proper is the point, so do it the traditional way.

First you need the right ingredients and the right gear. Try Maker’s Mark or pricier small batch bourbon like Basil Hayden’s. Brown sugar and fresh mint give the drink depth and freshness. Pewter julep cups are classic but an Old Fashioned or highball glass will do the trick. There is a secret to this drink: it’s the crushed ice. You have to try it with the crushed iced. It will forever change your stance on juleps. And a wooden muddler is a must for crushing mint. If you’re really serious, buy a Lewis bag for crushing the ice.


For each serving: Crush 4 cups of ice. In a pint glass or cocktail shaker, muddle 8 mint leaves and a teaspoon of brown sugar. Add 2 ounces of bourbon and stir. Pack a julep cup with ice until overflowing. Strain bourbon mixture into cup. Stir drink until the outside of the cup frosts. Top with more ice, garnish with a fresh mint spring, and serve.

recipe from:

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