Want to know how to make a mint julep? Look no further! The mint julep is the cocktail of the Kentucky Derby and even though neither of us have been to the Kentucky Derby, we love when any event has a designated cocktail. Plus, we love any cocktail with mint because it adds a hint floral flavor that we can’t get enough of. The classic mint julep is made with these basic ingredients: bourbon, sugar, water, mint, and ice. There are many versions of this “Kentucky Derby” beverage, including some without alcohol, different liquors, and alternatives to granulated sugar.
- Mint – this is a staple in any mint julep recipe. We definitely suggest using fresh mint to get the most flavor.
- Sugar cubes – like we mentioned above, you can use many different forms of sugar like simple syrup, granulated sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc. We absolutely love these honey cubes from a local Baton Rouge shop, Basic Bee.
- Warm water – this water doesn’t need to be boiling hot but you want warm water (instead of cold) so that the sugar will melt when the two are mixed together.
- Bourbon – pick your favorite! We’ve also seen recipes with brandy, tequila añejo, and gin, but ours calls for bourbon.
- Lemon juice – we always recommend squeezing fresh juice for any cocktail!
If you have a muddler, great. If not, no worries! You can use the back of a tablespoon to make sure the ingredients are well combined. If you use a tablespoon, we recommend doing this in a plastic bowl first – you don’t want the glass to shatter on your hand!
You want to gently smash it enough to mix with the other ingredients and to allow its flavors to be released. But you don’t want to grind it into a paste. You should still have leaves after muddling!
The classic mint julep is made with crushed ice but any ice can be used. If you want to make crushed ice, you can blend ice cubes for a few seconds in a blender (if you blend for too long it’ll turn into snow cone ice) or wrap ice cubes in a clean towel and smash with a rolling pin!
Your favorite! Since this drink is primarily bourbon, you want to use one that you like.
Whether you’re throwing a Kentucky Derby party, enjoying a mint julep at home, or just love bourbon, check out these other recipes that you may enjoy!
- Seasoned pretzels
- Guacamole with homemade tortilla chips
- Ranch dip
- Fresh strawberry salsa
- Peanut butter cupcakes with bourbon honey frosting
- Simple syrup recipe – just swap mint for jalapeños to make mint simple syrup!
If you try our mint julep recipe, please rate and review below! We also love connecting on social media so snap a photo and tag us @theperfectpear8 so we can see and share!Print
Mint Julep Recipe
You may feel fancy sipping on this mint julep since it’s the cocktail of the Kentucky Derby. All you need to add is some horse racing!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 drink 1x
- Category: Drinks
- Cuisine: American
- 2–3 leaves fresh mint (plus some for garnish)
- 2 cubes sugar
- ½ oz hot water
- 2 oz bourbon
- 1 oz fresh lemon juice
- In a tall glass, muddle mint leaves, sugar/honey cubes, and warm water.
- Add ice until glass is mostly full.
- Pour in bourbon and lemon juice.
- Stir, garnish with a fresh mint leaf, and enjoy!
- Enjoy immediately!
- Serving Size: 1 drink
- Calories: 167
- Sugar: 4
- Sodium: 1
- Fat: 0
- Saturated Fat: 0
- Unsaturated Fat: 0
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 6
- Fiber: 0
- Protein: 0
- Cholesterol: 0
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