Recipe: Our Favorite Ways To Enjoy A Mint Julep

ABOUT THE MINT JULEP COCKTAIL

The Mint Julep is a bourbon cocktail best known for being the signature drink of the Kentucky Derby. But this easy-to-make refresher shouldn’t be reserved for only one day a year. This classic cocktail was created in the southern United States during the 18th century and is still a favorite today. The Mint Julep is traditionally served in a Highball glass or silver Julep cup over crushed ice and garnished with mint. Since bourbon is the only liquor in the drink, you’ll want to use a high-quality bourbon you know you love. Given how hard it is, even for us, to get our hands on a bottle of Pappy, we’re partial to W.L. Weller Special Reserve when it comes time to making Mint Juleps.

Here are a few recipes we are partial to:

The Classic Mint Julep

Ingredients:

  • 10 mint leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
  • Crushed ice
  • 2 ½ ounces Kentucky bourbon whiskey
  • 1 ½ teaspoon superfine sugar
  • Seltzer water

Directions:

  1. Place the mint leaves in the bottom of an old-fashioned glass and top with the sugar.
  2. Muddle these together until the leaves begin to break down.
  3. Add a splash of seltzer water, fill the glass 3/4 full with crushed ice, and add the bourbon.
  4. Top with another splash of seltzer, stir, and garnish with a sprig of mint.
  5. Serve immediately.

We like to drink this out of our classic Kentucky Mint Julep Cup. Made from solid pewter and engraved with “Pappy” this cup represents history and tradition as age old as the Derby itself.

The Maple Julep

Ingredients:

  • 5 Fresh Mint Leaves
  • 1.5 ounces Pappy & Company Pure Barrel Aged Maple Syrup
  • 2 ounces Bourbon
  • 3 ounces seltzer water 

Directions:

  1. Muddle mint leaves and maple syrup together. Using the muddler, press onto the mint leaves and twist. The desired effect is not to smash the mint into little pieces, but to squeeze out the oils from the leaves.
  2. Add bourbon and ice.
  3. Roll the drink from one glass to another to incorporate the syrup and the bourbon.
  4. Add additional ice cubes to the glass to fill, if necessary.
  5. Top with seltzer water.

On special occasions we sip Maple Juleps from our iconic Wilson Silver Julep Cup. This is the perfect ode to jockeys dating back to 1978 when artist Dugan Wilson from Louisville, KY hand made this for the Hardscuffle Steeplechase. This family heirloom can be passed down for generations, continuing the great family traditions and values that are symbolic of the keys adorning the outside of the cup. 

Strawberry Mint Julep

Ingredients

  • 3 fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup (or to taste)*
  • 10-12 mint leaves
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • Crushed ice

Directions

  1. In a glass (preferably an 8-10 ounce glass), combine strawberries, simple syrup and mint.
  2. Muddle with a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon to puree the strawberries and release the oils from the mint leaves.
  3. Pack the cup with crushed ice and add the bourbon.
  4. Stir the drink until a frost forms on the outside of the cup and serve.

While this isn’t a traditional cup for sipping mint juleps, we like to drink strawberry juleps out of our Collector’s Copper Cup. The 100% handmade copper mug, is an exact replica of the original, and keeps our cocktails cool on extra hot days.