You can’t enjoy “the fastest two minutes in sports” without a classic Mint Julep. It may surprise you to know that Kentucky is not the birthplace of the Mint Julep.
The Julep came about, like many cocktails, because water was either undrinkable or unpleasant to taste. The Mint Julep is the descendant of a Middle Eastern drink called the Julab, made from rose petals and water. The Julep was once internationally known with many staking claims to the perfect recipe. In the Caribbean, the Mint Julep was made with rum. In Maryland, it’s made with rye whiskey. Elsewhere, with any available booze on hand.
Churchill Downs named The Mint Julep the “Official Drink” of the Kentucky Derby in 1938. Today, over 120,000 Mint Juleps are served over the weekend of the derby. The 2017 Kentucky Derby will feature a “$1,000 Mint Julep Cup” along with a gold-plated Julep cup for $2,500. Proceeds from these high-dollar cups are to benefit The Kentucky Derby Museum.
2 oz Bourbon
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
3 Fresh Mint Leaves
Optional: Berries for garnish
- Press mint against the glass to release oils.
- Add simple syrup, bourbon, and crushed ice.
- Stir with ice.
- Top with more ice.
- Garnish with mint, berries, and add straw.