Food & Wine // 5 min Read

The Art of the Mint Julep

Written by Palmetto Bluff

Mar 26, 2021


A Kentucky Derby party isn't complete without a mint julep in hand. Historically known as a “spirited morning picker-upper,” the mint julep was also used for medicinal purposes. Once used by farmers and horse trainers each morning for aching muscles, the bourbon was known to soothe muscles, the sugar softened the ethanol, and the mint freshened breath. Over time, the mint julep became a staple in the thoroughbred industry, popping up at racetracks – transitioning from a morning drink to a sipping cocktail.

Mint Julep

Preparation: Crush ice, in a Lewis bag if possible. Place 3 sprigs of mint and simple syrup in a julep cup or rocks glass. Lightly press mint with a muddler to release aromatic oils. Add bourbon and give a quick stir. Fill the cup 1/2 way with ice and stir 2-3 times, then fill the rest of the cup with ice. Take the reserved mint sprig in one hand and give it a light smack to release the aroma. Place sprig in one side of the cup.

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