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Kentucky Derby – Mint Julep Cocktail

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Last Updated on August 26, 2020 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 Jenever, an aged gin.



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




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 background

Rocks 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 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

Other Kentucky Themed Cocktails



Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and tag #gastronomcocktails so we can see all the wonderful recipes YOU recreate from this site!



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

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram




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




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Thursday 25th of April 2019

I adore the layers of colors in this mint julep! It truly is a beautiful cocktail!

The 'Noms.

Thursday 25th of April 2019

Thanks! It's a great classic and a tasty one, cheers!

This Ole Mom

Tuesday 5th of May 2015

I would love to be sipping on one of those right now...yum!

The 'Noms.

Tuesday 5th of May 2015

It's so good!


Tuesday 5th of May 2015

Yummmm! I remember drooling over your Instagram picture!!!!

The 'Noms.

Tuesday 5th of May 2015

Thanks! Hope you try one!

Sara Rae Hughes of Be Inspired Creative

Tuesday 5th of May 2015

I've never had one but that picture is making my mouth water for one!!! I love me some delicious whiskey so I bet this is amazing.

The 'Noms.

Tuesday 5th of May 2015

Bourbon is a little sweeter than whiskey, so it makes it a very smooth drink.

Mary La Fornara (@itsaboutpretty)

Tuesday 5th of May 2015

This sounds so yummy.

The 'Noms.

Tuesday 5th of May 2015

It's pretty tasty!

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