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Kentucky Derby – Mint Julep Cocktail

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Last Updated on August 11, 2021 by The Noms

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


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 Genever, an aged gin.


Mint Julep for the Kentucky Derby in a rocks glass with crushed ice and mint leaves. Basket and Knob Creek bottle in background.


Mint Julep Cocktail

Churchill Downs has promoted Mint Juleps since 1938. Each year around 120,000 this classic mint julep recipe are served over the 2 day race period. That’s a lot! 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!


How Much Does it Cost for a Mint Julep at the Kentucky Derby?

Well, about $1,000, and it’s made by Woodford Reserve. I don’t know about you, but I can make it much cheaper at home! So make this recipe!


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Mint Julep in a rocks glass with mint and heaped ice. Knob Creek bourbon bottle and basket in backgroundRocks Glasses / Lewis Bag & Mallet (for that perfect crushed ice!)


What Ingredients are Needed for the Mint Julep?

  • Bourbon
  • Simple Syrup
  • Mint



Like this recipe? Try these below, too!

Mint Simple SyrupMint 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

Other Kentucky Themed Cocktails


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Mint Julep for the Kentucky Derby in a rocks glass with crushed ice, mint. Basket and Knob Creek bottle in background.
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. This classic mint julep recipe is a tasty one!


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


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: 282Total Fat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 41mgCarbohydrates: 38.6gFiber: 2.3gSugar: 0gProtein: 1.1g

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Mint Julep for the Kentucky Derby in a rocks glass with crushed ice and mint. Basket and whiskey bottle in background.


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