With this year’s Kentucky Derby freshly over it will be a while before we can enjoy its pageantry and style again, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the iconic Kentucky Derby mint julep all summer. The mint julep has been a favourite at the Kentucky Derby since it was popularised by Churchill Downs in 1938. Between the Kentucky Oats and the Kentucky Derby, around 120,000 mint juleps are served per year. Try our recipe and relive the Derby anytime.
1/2 c. Sugar
1/2 c. Water
10-12 Leaves Fresh Mint (Spearmint is the traditional choice in the South)
2 oz. Bourbon
Boil the water and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved (approximately 3 minutes) and remove from heat. Allow the resulting simple syrup to cool in the icebox for at least 20 minutes.
Gently muddle the mint leaves in 1 tsp. of the simple syrup. Add a splash of seltzer and 2 oz. of bourbon whiskey (Early Times Kentucky Bourbon or Woodford Reserve are used at Churchill Downs), stirring gently.
Strain the mixture over finely crushed ice into a 10 oz. glass. Top with a bit more seltzer, stir 1-2 times with a bar spoon, and garnish with a small mint sprig. Enjoy!