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Make Kentucky Derby’s traditional cocktail at home: Mint Julep recipe

Kentucky Derby's traditional cocktail: Mint Julep
Kentucky Derby's traditional cocktail: Mint Julep

The Kentucky Derby is one of America’s most treasured and beloved sporting events; not to mention a major social event of the year. For 140 years, this derby race has held many rich traditions that have never faltered in popularity. One of those traditions is the fresh and frosty cocktail named the Mint Julep.

The Mint Julep is an adult cocktail the features fresh mint and Kentucky bourbon. The recipe is not secret; however the secret to a perfect Mint Julep is to serve it in a silver cup. When a Mint Julep is served in a silver cup, it comes to you as a beautiful frosty display. Ready to try making one for yourself?

The 140th annual run of the Kentucky Derby will be held on May 3, 2014. The derby race will begin at 4:00pm ET and will be televised on the NBC network.

Mint Julep recipe


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup lightly torn fresh mint leaves
  • 32 fluid ounces Kentucky bourbon
  • 8 sprigs fresh mint leaves for garnish


  1. Combine water, sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Turn heat to medium and continue to boil for 5 minutes. Allow syrup to cool, approximately 1 hour.
  2. Pour syrup is a container with lightly torn mint leaves; cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove mint leaves before assembling the cocktail.
  3. Fill eight chilled cups or frozen silver goblets with finely crushed ice and pour 4 ounces of bourbon and 1/4 cup mint syrup in each. (Proportions can be adjusted depending on each person's sweet tooth).
  4. Top each cup with a mint sprig and a straw. Trim straws to just barely protrude from the top of the cups.

Mint Juleps are a time honored tradition at the Kentucky Derby. Have some friends over for a Kentucky Derby party this year and serve up your own new tradition!

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