The Perfect Mint Julep for the Kentucky Derby

This Saturday is the Kentucky Derby which brings to mind thoughts of Southern Belles sipping on their favorite drinks wearing their derby best.  The classic drink is made with gin, sugar and mint.  However, it may have started off as a brandy cocktail.  As William Grimes in Straight Up or On the Rocks states: “If the mark of a great cocktail is the number of arguments it can provoke and the number of unbreakable rules it generates, the Mint Julep may be America’s preeminent classic, edging out the Martini in a photo finish.”  So, in honor of this deliciously controversial drink, we here at Sulpice Chocolat thought that we would share the recipe for the perfect mint julep.  The following recipe is from Field Guide to Cocktails by Rob Chirico via Chow.

mint julep recipe

  • 3 sprigs fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  1. Muddle 2 mint sprigs, the water, and the sugar in a highball or collins glass or a silver julep cup.
  2. Fill the glass with crushed ice, and pour in the bourbon.
  3. Garnish with the remaining mint sprig.


Brandy Julep: Omit the mint sprig garnish. Substitute brandy for the bourbon, and garnish with a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry.

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