Kentucky Derby Cocktail-Mint Julep Recipe

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MINT JULEP-the official drink of the KENTUCKY DERBY May 6, 2016-- a little history

The mint julep has been promoted by Churchill Downs in association with the Kentucky Derby since 1938. Each year almost 120,000 juleps are served at Churchill Downs over the two-day period of the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby, virtually all of them in specially made Kentucky Derby collectible glasses. Mint juleps are often served in silver or pewter cups, and held only by the bottom and top edges of the cup, allowing frost to form on the outside of the cup.  Today, mint juleps are most commonly served in a tall old-fashioned glass, Collins glass, or highball glass with a straw. (facts c/o wikipedia)


Since 2006, Churchill Downs has also served extra-premium custom-made mint juleps at a cost of $1000 each at the Kentucky Derby. These mint juleps were served in gold-plated cups with silver straws, and were made from Woodford Reserve bourbon, mint imported from Ireland, spring water ice cubes from the Bavarian Alps, and sugar from Australia. The proceeds were used to support charitable causes dedicated to retired race horses. Woodford Reserve and Early Times are sister brands produced by Brown-Forman. Woodford Reserve is the "official bourbon" of the derby.



A mint julep takes four ingredients: A mint julep takes four ingredients: mint leaf, bourbon, sugar, and water. Traditionally, spearmint is the mint of choice used in Southern states, and in Kentucky in particular. In the use of sugar and mint, it is similar to the mojito. Proper preparation of the cocktail is commonly debated, as methods may vary considerably from one bartender to another.

The Early Times Mint Julep Recipe

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Sprigs of fresh mint
  • Crushed ice
  • Early Times Kentucky Whisky (or Bourbon, edits CITYPEEK Patti)
  • Silver Julep Cups

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Early Times Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.


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