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How to make a perfect Mint Julep

The perfect Mint Julep. Happy Derby!

Susan Ratterman

When it comes to making a Mint Julep, simplicity is key. Don't try to dress it up. Don't try to "enhance" the flavor by adding a dash of this or a sprinkle of that. And, for God sakes, don't buy one of those god-awful premade mixes. Any of these is a sure fire recipe for disaster, cause - let's face it - there are LOTS of ways to screw up a Mint Julep. The only question you need to ask yourself - or your guests - is how long do you want to be standing, because a Mint Julep made right is a deceptively easy concoction to drink quickly and easily.

Here are some simple steps to follow for making a classic, delicious Mint Julep:

The ingredients - that's all, nothing else

  • 1 ½ cups - Confectioner's (powdered) sugar (I use powdered sugar because it dissolves quickly without having to heat it.)
  • ½ cup - Water
  • Several sprigs - Fresh mint
  • Bourbon
  • Crushed ice
  1. First, in your Derby glass, drop in a few sprigs of fresh mint and muddle (crush the hell out of) it.
  2. Add crushed ice up to almost the top of the glass.
  3. Mix your confectioner's sugar and water in a separate cup - preferably a measuring cup with a spout for pouring.
  4. Pour your simple syrup in your glass until it is about three-quarters of the way full. (Ice will still be on top)
  5. Top off with bourbon - to taste, but about 2 ounces makes for a fairly strong drink.
  6. And, of course, garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.


Happy Derby everyone!




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