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Mint Julep

It wouldn't be Kentucky Derby Day without this mint julep recipe! But, really, this Kentucky Derby mint julep recipe is good anytime. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    10 servings (2-1/2 cups syrup)


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups loosely packed chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup crushed ice
  • 1/2 to 1 ounce bourbon
  • Mint sprig


  • For syrup, combine the sugar, water and chopped mint in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat; cool to room temperature.
  • Line a mesh strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Strain syrup; discard mint. Cover and refrigerate syrup for at least 2 hours or until chilled.
  • For each serving, place ice in a metal julep cup or rocks glass. Pour 1/4 cup mint syrup and bourbon into the glass; stir until mixture is well chilled. Garnish with mint sprig.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Kentucky is the birthplace of bourbon and produces 95% of the world's supply.
  • Lower-proof bourbons take less time to cook off when used in crafting recipes.
  • Try 21 more mixed drinks anyone can master.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1/3 cup: 197 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 6mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (39g sugars, 1g fiber), 1g protein.

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      Sep 8, 2020

      What kind of mint?

    • cast_iron_king
      Aug 14, 2019

      I only learned to make mint juleps a year ago, but I quickly came to love this delightful cocktail! There are only two of us so I cut this recipe in half. Right off the bat, I will say that this is a perfectly fine mint julep, and I can see preparing them this way as a great timesaver if you're serving a crowd. However, heating the mint with the syrup and straining it out does tend to change the flavor a little. Like I said, this is perfectly fine, but it lacks the intense fresh flavor of mint that is muddled right in the glass. I would definitely refer back to this recipe if I ever have a houseful of guests, but for myself, I'll stick to a more traditional method.

    • Brandon J.
      Nov 28, 2018

      First this recipe is quite decent and great for serving a number of people "Quickly" with little fuss, mess and calamity. I would say that it is a modern day interpretation that emphasizes speed, efficiency and convenience for the sake of some flavor, authenticity and nostalgia but we enjoyed it anyhow. Now a note regarding funkewa's Makers Mark version that isn't really all that different in spirit from the above method. Funk's MM recipe still uses simple syrup (website verified), added water and powdered sugar instead of the original simple ingredients (3 plus shaved ice for a total of 4) and methods of making a Mint Julep. - Brandon and Co. To Follow is an excerpt: Corinthian Julep This is my own favorite julep recipe. The name is a reference to St. Paul’s famous poem to charity in his first epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 13, and refers to a julep make with 3 jiggers of whiskey (one each for faith, hope, and charity). It comes from Virginia Hudson’s childhood essays Oh Ye Jigs and Juleps, written around 1900, and was coined by young Virginia’s adult friend Mrs. Ada Harris, who, apparently, was never at a loss for words. Be careful of how many of these you have, or you’ll be at a loss for more than words. Serves 1 2 large, leafy sprigs mint, at least 2 inches long 1 teaspoon sugar (or more, to taste) 3 jiggers (about ½ cup) bourbon 1. Strip the leaves from 1 sprig of mint and drop them into the bottom of a julep cup or tumbler with the sugar. Muddle the mint and sugar until the mint is crushed. Add just enough bourbon to melt the sugar and muddle to combine. 2. Fill half the cup or tumbler with shaved ice and pour in the remaining bourbon. Without touching the cup or tumbler, stir until the outside of the cup begins to frost over. 3. Pack in the ice to the rim, insert a straw, and stir with the straw, again, never touching the sides of the cup, until the entire outside is frosty. Garnish with the reserved mint, pull out the straw (it isn’t properly used for drinking), and serve at once. — From Classical Southern Cooking, by Damon Lee Fowler - 2nd Edition, 2008.

    • gina.kapfhamer
      May 1, 2017

      No comment left

    • galinthewoods
      Jan 16, 2014

      My little girl loves horses, so I made this for her last May and we drank it (minus the bourbon) as we watched the Kentucky Derby. We thought it was great.

    • dilounge
      Sep 16, 2012

      So simple and refresh!

    • funkewa
      Mar 25, 2012

      My first post was unfair, I prefer to receive constructive criticism, so I should provide it as well.Here is my favorite Mint Julep mix.I am a Makers Mark Ambassador so Credit is to Makers Mark:Recipe:1-1/2 parts Maker?s Mark® BourbonFresh mint2 tablespoons simple syrup* muddled with mintSplash of distilled waterPowdered sugarMix together simple syrup* muddled with mint, Maker?s Mark® Bourbon and distilled water. Fill glass with crushed ice and pour mixture over top. Sprinkle top of ice with powdered sugar. Garnish with a mint sprig.*Simple syrup1 cup granulated sugar1 cup distilled waterHeat to dissolve sugar, stirring constantly so the sugar does not burn. Set aside to cool.

    • funkewa
      Dec 26, 2011

      Please remove this recipe as an insult to the Ky Mint Julep.There is not an "Ole' Ky Home" that does not have embedded in it's bones, Mint (wild or not) and the propensity to appreciate Bourbon.The Julep is a celebration of that rustic and old Home'sy feel of the casual country.Therefore, Please do not call this a Julep. Maybe it is a "Sport Drink", for those inclined to chase the Derby Winner?