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Derby Day is HERE! Time to polish off your sterling julep cups, if you have them, or grab your favorite glasses ( like my mint julep inspired cups ) and make a classic mint julep recipe to enjoy while watching the race.
What are the ingredients for a mint julep?
This classic mint julep recipe needs the following things:
What kind of mint is used for a julep?
Originally, spearmint, but most any fresh mint will do the trick. If you're living in the South, I'd simply ask around for "The Good Mint for Juleps". It seems like everyone's family has their own growing somewhere in a garden, and I've always found people happy to share! For this recipe, I used mint from my garden.
What does a mint julep taste like?
The mint julep is a bourbon-forward drink, which is a polite way of saying if you do not like bourbon, you are likely not going to like a classic mint julep. The bourbon is sweetened with sugar or simple syrup, and flavored with fresh mint leaves. Water from a glassful of ice dilutes the drink as it's consumed in the hot Southern outdoors where the drink is usually served.
How do you muddle mint for mint julep?
A classic mint julep doesn't require the kind of wild muddling involved with something like a mojito. Simply pull several fresh mint leaves from the stem and rub the leaves around the edge of the glass you'll be serving the mint julep in. Then toss those leaves into the glass, add the bourbon and sugar, and stir until the sugar dissolves.
What bourbon is best for mint julep?
The official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby Mint Julep is Old Forester, but in my heart of hearts I believe that Woodford Reserve is the best bourbon for mint juleps. The smooth flavor of Woodford makes is perfect for a classic mint julep, where the bourbon is mostly what you are tasting, without much else to take the edge off.
Classic Mint Julep
- 2 ounces bourbon Woodford Reserve
- 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
- 2 sprigs fresh mint plus more for garnish
- ice as much as you can cram into the glass
- Rub the leaves of the mint around the edge of the cup, and then drop the leaves into the glass.
- Add the bourbon and sugar to the glass with the mint, and stir until the sugar dissolves into the bourbon.
- Fill the glass with crushed ice, and garnish with fresh mint sprigs.