Mint Julep

The mint julep is a drink steeped in rich history. What most don't know is that, before the drink became a signature bourbon cocktail, it was actually made with rum. The South willingly traded tobacco for the spirituous libation, distilled by New England settlers. Rum soon became, in the opinion of many, all too popular. "Demon rum" became the impassioned denunciation from Colonial pulpits. The planter's morning draft, the julep, was made of rum long before corn whiskey made its appearance.Now, the mint julep has cemented its spot as one of the South's signature cocktails, with bourbon replacing rum as the spirit of choice. This beverage is packed full of fresh mint, giving the cocktail a light, refreshing flavor. Be sure to use good bourbon in these stiff Kentucky cocktails– this handy guide will help you select the best bourbon for your mint julep. Serve at your next Derby party, and complement the cocktail's flavors with a decadent Kentucky Bourbon Pie for dessert!

Mint Julep
Photo: Southern Living
Active Time:
16 mins
Total Time:
31 mins
4 servings.


  • 24 fresh mint leaves

  • 4 teaspoons powdered sugar

  • 12 ounces bourbon

  • Crushed ice

  • Fresh mint sprigs, to garnish


  1. Place 6 mint leaves in a serving glass. Gently press leaves against glass with back of spoon to release flavors. Add 1 tsp. powdered sugar and 1 tsp. water, stirring gently until sugar is dissolved. Pack glass tightly with crushed ice, filling glass two-thirds full. Pour 2 oz. bourbon over ice; stir briskly. Add additional crushed ice to fill glass. Add 1 oz. bourbon. Place glass in freezer; chill 15 minutes. Repeat procedure with remaining ingredients. Garnish, if desired.

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