Mint Julep Recipe: Perfect Southern Drink

mint julep recipe
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Mint Julep Recipe
Whether you make this mint julep recipe for a Kentucky Derby party or another occasion, it's bound to be a hit! This classic bourbon cocktail is aromatic and refreshing.

Hey, Welcome to my little corner of the internet Beyond the Bayou Blog. Today, I want to tell you about Mint Julep Recipe, a special drink that holds a special place in my heart. Growing up, I have fond memories of hot summer days spent sipping on ice-cold mint juleps along with Disaronno Drink  and Matcha Lime Fizz with my family.

The sound of ice clinking against the silver cups, the fragrant aroma of fresh mint, and the smooth, sweet taste of bourbon – it’s like a taste of home in every sip. So, when I started experimenting in the kitchen, trying to recreate those cherished moments, mastering the art of making the perfect mint julep became my mission. And now, I’m excited to share my tried-and-true recipe with you. So grab your favorite julep cup or glass, gather your ingredients, and let’s dive into the refreshing world of mint juleps together. Trust me, once you try it, you’ll be hooked.

What is Mint Julep?

what is mint julep

Mint julep is a refreshing cocktail that’s perfect for warm days, especially popular in the southern United States. It’s made with just a few simple ingredients: bourbon whiskey, sugar, water, and fresh mint. First, you muddle (which means gently crush) some mint leaves with sugar and water in a glass or silver cup. Then, you fill the glass with crushed ice and pour bourbon over the top.

The drink is garnished with a sprig of fresh mint, which adds a delightful aroma and flavor. Mint julep is known for its sweet, slightly spicy taste from the bourbon and the refreshing hint of mint. It’s often enjoyed at events like the Kentucky Derby, where it’s considered a traditional drink. Overall, it’s a classic cocktail that’s both delicious and easy to make.

How to make Mint Julep?

step 1: Prepare the mint: Take about 8-10 fresh mint leaves and place them in the bottom of a glass or a special silver cup called a julep cup.

Prepare the mint:
Image source: You Tube (Tipsy Bartender)

step 2 : Add the simple syrup: Pour 1/2 ounce (15 ml) of simple syrup over the mint leaves in the glass or cup. Simple syrup is just equal parts sugar and water heated until the sugar dissolves, then cooled. It adds sweetness to the drink.

Add the simple syrup:
Image source: You Tube (Tipsy Bartender)

step 3: Muddle the mint: Gently press and twist the mint leaves using a muddler or the back of a spoon. This helps release the mint’s oils and flavor into the syrup.

 Muddle the mint
Image source: You Tube (Tipsy Bartender)

step 4: Add crushed ice: Fill the glass or cup about two-thirds full with crushed ice. You can crush ice by putting ice cubes in a plastic bag and hitting it gently with a rolling pin or mallet.

Add crushed ice:
Image source: You Tube (Tipsy Bartender)

step 5: Pour the bourbon: Measure and pour 2 ounces (60 ml) of bourbon whiskey over the ice. Bourbon is a type of whiskey made primarily from corn and aged in oak barrels, known for its rich, smoky flavor.

Pour the bourbon:
Image source: You Tube (Tipsy Bartender)

step 6: Stir gently: Use a long-handled spoon to gently stir the mixture, combining the bourbon, mint, and syrup with the ice.

: Stir gently:
Image source: You Tube (Tipsy Bartender)

step 7: Garnish with mint: Take a fresh sprig of mint and place it on top of the ice for a fragrant and decorative touch.

Garnish with mint:
Image source: You Tube (Tipsy Bartender)

How Strong Is a Mint Julep?

The Mint Julep has a pleasant taste, but it includes a long shot of bourbon and little else to knock down its alcohol content. If you make it with an 80-proof whiskey, it should weigh in somewhere around 28 percent ABV (56 proof). The drink will be even stronger with higher proof bourbons. It’s best to enjoy this one nice and slow.

What’s the difference between a mojito and a mint julep?

They may both be delicious, minty cocktails, but a mojitos is made with rum and contains lime juice while a mint julep is made with bourbon and only requires simple syrup and mint (and of course, crushed ice!) in addition to the liquor. 

mint julep recipe

Mint Julep Recipe

Whether you make this mint julep recipe for a Kentucky Derby party or another occasion, it's bound to be a hit! This classic bourbon cocktail is aromatic and refreshing.
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Course: cocktail
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Calories: 30kcal
Author: Jacob Allen
Servings: 4 people


  • Julep Cup or Glass
  • Muddler or Spoon
  • Long-Handled Spoon
  • Measuring jigger
  • Ice Crusher


  • 8 ounces bourbon whiskey
  • 2 ounces simple syrup
  • 40-50 leaves Fresh mint leaves
  • Crushed ice


  • Start by adding about 8-10 fresh mint leaves and the simple syrup to a glass or silver julep cup.
    stur the mint
  • Gently muddle the mint leaves with the syrup to release their flavor.
    mix syrep and mint leave
  • Fill the glass or cup with crushed ice until it’s about two-thirds full.
    fill the ice
  • Pour the bourbon whiskey over the ice.
    pour whesky
  • Stir the mixture gently to combine the flavors.
    stir it
  • Garnish with a fresh mint sprig for aroma and presentation.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy your refreshing mint julep.
    mint julep recipe


Choose a good-quality bourbon whiskey for the best flavor. It’s the star ingredient of the drink, so investing in a decent bottle can make a difference.
Use fresh mint leaves for the most vibrant flavor. Avoid wilted or bruised leaves, as they won’t impart as much aroma or taste.


Calories: 30kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g
Keyword best Mint Julep Recipe, easy Mint Julep Recipe, fresh Mint Julep Recipe, homemade Mint Julep Recipe, Mint Julep Recipe

Variations Of Mint Julep Recipe!

  • NON-ALCOHOLIC � There�s really no way to make a non-alcoholic mint julep taste the same as a regular one, since bourbon has a distinctive taste.  But here�s how to make a mint julep that�s beautiful, yet alcohol-free:
    • When making the simple syrup, add a splash of lemon juice
    • Replace bourbon with ginger ale
  • SIMPLE SYRUP ALTERNATIVE � If a simple syrup isn�t possible, add some granulated sugar to the mint and muddle (just as you would with the syrup).  I definitely prefer the syrup though, since sugar can make the drink a bit grainy.

What to do with Leftover?

  1. Refrigeration: Transfer the leftover mint julep to a clean, airtight container or bottle. Store it in the refrigerator to keep it chilled and prevent the flavors from deteriorating.
  2. Avoid Dilution: If the mint julep contains ice, consider straining it before storing to avoid dilution as the ice melts. You can always add fresh ice when serving again.
  3. Labeling: Label the container with the date when the mint julep was prepared to keep track of its freshness.
  4. Consume Promptly: Mint juleps are best enjoyed fresh due to their vibrant flavors and icy texture. Try to consume the leftover mint julep within a day or two for the best taste.
  5. Garnish Freshness: If the mint julep is garnished with mint sprigs, remove them before storing to prevent wilting. You can add fresh mint sprigs when serving again for a decorative touch.
  6. Shake or Stir Before Serving: Before serving the leftover mint julep again, give it a good shake or stir to mix the ingredients thoroughly.
  7. Temperature: Serve the leftover mint julep chilled, straight from the refrigerator, for a refreshing taste.

Let me Share some Tips and Tricks!

  1. Chilled Ingredients: Chill the bourbon whiskey and simple syrup before making the mint julep. This ensures that your drink stays cold without relying too much on ice, which can dilute the flavor.
  2. Proper Muddling: When muddling the mint leaves with the simple syrup, be gentle to avoid over-muddling, which can release bitter compounds from the mint. Aim to bruise the leaves slightly to release their oils without crushing them too much.
  3. Crushed Ice: Use crushed ice for the best texture and presentation. The small ice pieces melt more slowly, keeping your drink cold without diluting it too quickly.
  4. Garnish with Care: Garnish your mint julep with a fresh mint sprig, but be mindful not to overdo it. A single sprig is usually sufficient for both flavor and aesthetics.
  5. Personalize to Taste: Adjust the sweetness of your mint julep by varying the amount of simple syrup used. You can also experiment with different types of bourbon to find your preferred flavor profile.
  6. Presentation: Serve your mint julep in a traditional julep cup or a highball glass for an authentic touch. A silver or pewter cup is traditional for mint juleps and can help keep the drink cold.
  7. Sip Slowly: Mint juleps are meant to be sipped slowly and savored, allowing you to appreciate the flavors and aromas with each sip. Take your time and enjoy the experience.

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