International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Mint Julep

Mint Julep (American, Southern bourbon cocktail)

(American, Southern bourbon cocktail)

Image by Jeremy T Hetzel

Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

The mint julep is a long-standing favorite beverage in much of the Southern United States. Traditionally served in silver or pewter cups, this lightly sweet, minty, boozy concoction is the perfect foil for a hot, humid Southern evening. The mint julep is the traditional beverage of Kentucky's famous Derby in the spring.

1 serving


  • Spearmint -- 10 leaves plus 1 nice sprig
  • Sugar -- 2 teaspoons
  • Water -- 1 tablespoon
  • Kentucky bourbon whiskey -- 2 to 3 ounces
  • Crushed ice


  1. Chill a julep mug or a tall glass in the freezer. Rub the mint leaves to release some of their fragrance.
  2. Add the mint leaves, sugar and water to the chilled mug or glass and stir, crushing the leaves lightly, to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Stir in the bourbon, then add crushed ice to fill the mug or glass. Stir until the outside of the mug or glass frosts over.
  4. Garnish with a sprig of mint and serve with a straw.

Mint Julep Variations

  • Using mint-flavored simple syrup: Use 2 teaspoons of mint syrup instead of sugar. To make, add 1 cup of water, 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar, for about 10 minutes. Let cool, strain, and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.


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