The Mint Julep is a refreshing and sweet bourbon-based cocktail with a fresh mint flavour. The term Julep was originally used to refer to any sweet cocktail which has medicinal benefits, but now generally refers to the family of American cocktails.The Mint Julep found popularity as a cocktail in the United States after its creation in the 18th century, with the first noteworthy mention of the drink in 1770 in the satirical play by Robert Munford, The Candidate.Even today, the Mint Julep is still strongly associated with the American South and the Kentucky Derby in particular. Much of this is because the Mint Julep has been heavily promoted by the Churchill Downs racecourse in Kentucky since 1938.The promotion has been so successful that each year almost 120,000 juleps are served over the two-day period of the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby.Traditionally Julep drinks are served in silver or pewter cups as they helped retain the refreshing coldness of the ice better. However, some versions of the cocktail have been served in gold cups and cost upwards of $1000.
- Old Fashioned glass
- 5 mint leaves
- 60 ml Bourbon whisky
- 15 ml simple syrup
- 1 mint sprig (to garnish)
- Pour the simple syrup into a glass.
- Add the mint leaves and muddle them gently.
- Add the bourbon and top up the glass with crashed ice. Stir well.
- Garnish with a mint sprig.
Why do they drink Mint Juleps at the Kentucky Derby?
Legend has it that the Churchill Downs (home of the Kentucky Derby) founder Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr., planted mint for Mint Julep cocktails when he founded the track in 1875.