How to Make a Perfect Mint Julep

Mint Julep
Photo by Adam Jaime on Unsplash

As far as cocktails go, the Mint Julep has quite a history. The drink was first mentioned in European medicine, as far back as 900, where sugar, herbs, spices, and spirits were combined to treat ailments. In its more recent years, the Julep (which comes from the Arabic word for rosewater) has been associated with the American south where it has been the signature cocktail of the Kentucky Derby since 1939. Around 120,000 Mint Juleps are enjoyed throughout the Derby weekend each year.


  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • ½ ounce sugar syrup
  • 8 mint leaves, plus mint sprigs for garnish 
  • Crushed ice


  1. Muddle the mint leaves with the sugar syrup in a cocktail-making cup or mortar and pestle. 
  2. Add in the bourbon and crushed ice. Place a swizzle stick or bar spoon in the cup and spin between your hands to mix.
  3. Pour the cocktail into the serving glass and top with additional crushed ice and mint.