Kentucky Derby Mint Julep

Mint Julep for the Kentucky Derby with bourbon, mint simple syrup and ice

Need the classic Kentucky Derby cocktail? Here you go with his Mint Julep!




In honor of the Kentucky Derby race, we celebrated by making our own Mint Juleps! The Mint Julep was first prescribed in 1784 for stomach issues, and in 1803 was described in a book in London as, “a dram of spirituous liquor that has mint steeped in it, taken by Virginians of a morning.” In the nineteenth century juleps were made with both bourbon and Jenever, an aged gin.



Mint Julep

Churchill Downs has promoted Mint Juleps since 1938. Each year around 120,000 Mint Juleps are served over the 2 day race period. While Woodford Reserve is the official whiskey of the Kentucky Derby, we chose another Kentucky Bourbon, Knob Creek, which is one of our favorites. Also, try our brand new Mezcal version with our Mexican Mint Julep!






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Mint Julep in a rocks glass with mint and heaped ice. Knob Creek bourbon bottle and basket in background

Rocks Glasses / Lewis Bag & Mallet (for that perfect crushed ice!)









Like this recipe? Try these below, too!

Mint Simple Syrup

Mint Simple Syrup





Two Recap Cocktails, made with Bin 27 Port Wine, amaro, mint and lemon sits in front of holiday decor.

The Recap – A Port Wine Cocktail




Other Julep Recipes

Orange Mint Julep – I’m Bored, Let’s Go….

HIbiscus Honey Mint Julep – Honey and Birch

Blackberry Lemon Mint Juleps – Striped Spatula

Blueberry Mint Juleps – The Speckled Palate

Strawberry Rhubarb Julep – Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

Other Kentucky Themed Cocktails

Blackberry Sage Kentucky Mule – The Gastronom

Kentucky Ale-8-One – Garden and Gun

Kentucky Buck – Saveur

Kentucky Maid – Food Republic

Kentucky Corpse Reviver – Serious Eats




Yield: 1

Kentucky Derby Mint Julep - A Bourbon Cocktail

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes
A celebration cocktail for the Kentucky Derby or anytime for a refreshing drink.


  • mint sprig
  • 1 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • crushed ice
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 5 mint leaves


Clap the mint leaves between her hands to release the oils, rub the inside of the glass with them, place them in the bottom of the glass.

Fill glass with crushed ice.

Add in simple syrup, bourbon and fill the glass with ice until it mounds over the top.

Garnish with mint sprig.


Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 282 Total Fat: 0.3g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 41mg Carbohydrates: 38.6g Fiber: 2.3g Sugar: 0g Protein: 1.1g


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25 thoughts on “Kentucky Derby Mint Julep

  1. Two things: My daughter started a new tradition of making mint juleps for Easter! And my grandmother collected mint julep Kentucky Derby glasses (although we’ve never been allowed to use them to actually drink anything out of!). Your recipe is different I think from the one my daughter uses, which I believe has the mint in as part of the syrup.

    1. Its about as close as you can get to the real thing! Give it a try its pretty tasty tho it might be a bit strong for those who aren’t regular bourbon drinkers!

  2. This looks really good! I bought some bourbon a while ago to make some special bread pudding, so this is a great excuse to ‘use up the leftovers’ 😉

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