Easy Mint Julep is a first for me. I have never made a Mint Julep let alone enjoyed this Kentucky Derby favorite. Usually made with four ingredients in a pewter cup and held on the bottom or top edge to allow a frost to form on the outside of the glass. Mint Julep might be easy to make but is steeped in tradition.
Okay not only have I not enjoyed a crisp ice cold easy mint julep, but I also have never been to the Kentucky Derby. So why did I decide to make this ice-cold beverage? Honestly, I saw a picture of one in a magazine and said “I should try one of those yummy looking cocktails.” I did a little research and was off to the races.
The traditional Mint Julep has to start with the best bourbon. Woodford Reserve is the choice for most Kentucky Derby fans, as I was educated by an ABC Liquor Store employee. Since I didn’t know any better and not originally from the south, Woodford Reserve is what I bought.
Bit of history
I found the Woodford Reserve site and learned that there are more barrels of bourbon in the state of Kentucky than people. In addition, Woodford County has more racehorses than residents, who would have thought? Hence, one of the main reasons to use this bourbon for your next Kentucky Derby party.
I did a bit of research about the Mint Julep. Unofficially, in the south around the eighteenth century, where it originated. What does the term “julep” mean? A sweet drink with medicinal properties. Interestingly, I felt pretty good after drinking one, so I guess I have to agree. There is so much interesting information about this traditional cocktail it is a must-read.
More interesting fact finding
This has to be my favorite find when I was researching the history of the Mint Julep. In 2006, Churchill Downs started making the Mint Julep for a measly $1,000! WTF. I guess when you get mint from Ireland, ice from the Alps, and sugar from Australia, there you have it $1,000, please. Oh and I almost forgot, it is served in a gold-plated cup with a silver straw that is what I call a souvenir. Do you think they would give me one for posting on my blog? Probably not, bummer.
Non-traditional Mint Julep option
The traditional Kentucky Derby Mint Julep is a crisp icy cocktail but can be a bit strong. If you desire a little less of the alcohol taste; add in a splash of either club soda, tonic, or sparkling water, and a squeeze of lime. Little less kick, while still maintaining all the icy crisp mint flavor.
Three easy steps for an icy Easy Mint Julep
First, start with a ice cold chilled mint julep cup. Remove the ice.
Second, muddle or rub the mint expressing the mints essential oils into the cup. Remove leaves and add ice back into the cup.
Thirdly, add in the bourbon, simple syrup, stir, dust with powdered sugar (if desired) and garnish with a mint sprig. Done!
Almost forgot the most important fourth step: ENJOY this icy crisp Kentucky Derby tradition, Easy Mint Julep, and don’t forget your Derby hat!
Looking to enjoy this refreshing julep with a snack? The Kentucky Derby serves a Cucumber Benedictine Sandwich our cucumber sandwich is not only delicious, like the Kentucky Derby version, but it is also vegan and gluten-free. Win-win!
In short, have fun in the kitchen, don’t take yourself too seriously. Subscribe, share, and let me know how “YOU” made this fresh mango salsa your own. Share your positive comments and ideas below or on Instagram. ❤️ from VGFL
- 4-6 mint julep leaves
- 2 ounces Woodford Reserve Bourbon
- .5 ounces simple syrup
- 8 ounces crushed ice
- powdered sugar optional: dusting
- In chilled mint julep glass add 3-4 mint leaves, muddle. Add in crushed ice, bourbon, and simple sugar mix thoroughly. Top with fresh mint and dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy!