The Kentucky Derby is quickly approaching and that means it’s time to make some Mint Juleps – the official drink of the Derby. While I’m not a regular Bourbon drinker, I do look forward to the annual tradition of sipping a Mint Julep while watching the first leg of the Triple Crown.

I’m quite fortunate that my dear friend, Embry H, not only designed my website, but also has as fabulous collection of antique julep cups which she graciously polished for our tasting. The allure of the cup – other than being quite fashionable – is that it keeps the drink really cold (some might say too cold – if that’s the case wrap a cocktail napkin around the cup) so the ice doesn’t melt too quickly. Speaking of ice, Chris H contributed his fancy purified ice for this drink which was perfect as smaller cubes or shaved ice work best.

Mint Julep












I used the smooth 1792 Ridgemont Reserve Barrel Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey which is handcrafted in Kentucky in small batches for this round of drinks. I knew that to be considered Bourbon it has to be made in Kentucky, but I didn’t know the derivation of this Bourbon’s name until I looked it up and learned that 1792 is when Kentucky became the 15th state. It’s important that you stir the drink once all of the ingredients have been added – otherwise you might be accused of serving straight Bourbon.

Mint Julep












I had so much fun taking pictures that I couldn’t pick just one. My favorite features Embry’s very own julep cup – a one of a kind, I’m sure!

If you have a lovely julep cup, please share a picture of it with this tasty recipe, preferably wearing a fun Derby hat.

Mint Julep













Mint Julep
Recipe type: Drink
Serves: 1
  • 1 ounce simple syrup (see Notes)
  • 8 fresh mint leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
  • 2 ounces high-quality Bourbon
  1. Place simple syrup and mint in an old fashioned (or rocks) glass.
  2. Using a wooden muddler or back of a wooden spoon, muddle the syrup and mint together to form a good syrup.
  3. Fill cup with small ice cubes or shaved ice.
  4. Poor in Bourbon.
  5. Mix all ingredients with a spoon.
  6. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
1 cup (8 ounces) water
1 cup granulated sugar
Bring the water to a simmer in a saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and stir until it completely dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Pour the syrup into a clean 1-pint bottle, cap it and refrigerate it until needed. Makes 1½ cups and keeps two months or longer in the refrigerator.



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2014-04-28T20:18:19+00:00 April 28th, 2014|Categories: Drinks|Tags: , , , , , |4 Comments


  1. GT April 28, 2014 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    Throw some mint into the pan when you make the simple syrup and let it seep. Goes down smoother than an Arnold Palmer and you will wake up in the morning wondering if your 7 year old is still playing in the sandbox. At least that is what happened to my mother-in-law 30 years ago…

    • Nicole April 29, 2014 at 7:19 am - Reply

      Oh, that’s a grand idea – making a mint simple syrup. I will have to give that a try and perhaps post a new version next year. Love, love the story about C.!

  2. David May 4, 2014 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    I know we missed Derby Day (too busy celebrating Cinco de Mayo!) but the julep cups are ready, the mint is going wild and we are well stocked with bourbon! Time for some poolside julepping! Can’t wait to try your recipe!

    • Nicole May 4, 2014 at 3:40 pm - Reply

      David – It is hard having two fun food (or drink) holidays right next to each other! And, there’s never a bad time to have a mint julep. Your setting sounds perfect – very envious as it’s in the 50’s here.

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