The Mint Julep has been the well known, traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1938. Many people come from around the world to try our Mint Julep. There are a few variations of this drink, using gin or vodka, but a true “Kentucky” Mint Julep should of course contain Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey. You can easily make this drink on your own – there’s no need to splurge, and you can prepare it for any occasion, not just your Derby Party. Here is a simple recipe for making a true “Kentucky” Mint Julep.
What You’ll Need:
1. 4-6 Fresh Sprig Mint Leaves
2. Julep Cup (pewter, silver or gold plated cup) or just a Tall Glass (Chilled)
3. 3-5 oz of Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey (I prefer Woodford Reserve)
4. Granulated Sugar (sweeten to taste, about 1 tsp.)
5. Crushed or Shaved Ice
6. A Muddler or anything that will crush the mint leaves and sugar at the bottom of the glass. (Helps release flavor)
What to Do:
Muddle (or crush up) the mint leaves and sugar together in the bottom of the chilled glass, then let it sit for about 5 minutes to allow the broken leaves to release their flavor. This step is often overlooked, but it helps to release the oils and juices into the mixture that intensify the flavor. Fill the cup about half way with crushed or shaved ice, then add your favorite bourbon whiskey to fill the cup up. (You can add a little water to soften the blow if you’re not used to drinking bourbon.) Stir rapidly to mix well and help frost the glass. Add a straw, and garnish with a fresh mint sprig.
All that’s left to do is enjoy!