Mint Julep a traditional bourbon cocktail of the Kentucky Derby made with fresh mints, mint simple syrup, and Bourbon.
This drink is not only traditional cocktail but is also a southern tradition. Simple bourbon drink with freshness of mint and touch of sweetness served on crush ice. It is a typical summer drink. Icy, fragrant, and sweet in every sip.
What is Mint Julep?
The drink originated in the southern United States, probably during the eighteenth century. Printable mention of this drink is in 1803. Mint Julep became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby in 1983. Now, it is hard to think Derby without Mint Julep. It is also a favorite drink of US presidents.
This is ultimate bourbon cocktail with touch of sweetness and flavor from fresh mint. The magic of a this drink is the result of a trio of flavors working together: Whiskey: Specifically, bourbon. Traditionally, spearmint is the mint of choice in Southern states, and in Kentucky in particular.As it is the most common type of mint used in American cocktails
How to make Mint Julep?
If you want to make an authentic mint julep, you need to use sugar instead of simple syrup. I like the simple syrup version as it mixes well in the cocktail.
You need only 4 ingredients,
Bourbon : Use your favorite Bourbon Whiskey I used Jim Beam bourbon as I have it in hand.
Fresh mint sprigs : You need a few for making mint simple syrup, for muddling with bourbon and then for garnish.
Simple syrup : I used mint simple syrup; you can use your favorite herb instead of mint.
Crushed ice: which is characteristic of this cocktail.
Making this cocktail is easy once you have made the mint simple syrup, just muddle few of the mint leaves with simple syrup and then add bourbon and ice and enjoy .
Usually is served in Silver Mint julep cups which are specially designed to hold the mixed alcoholic drink. Mint Julep is best enjoyed in a frosty-cold metal cup which can hold up to 12.oz
Variation of Mint julep
I have made a classic version of Mint Julep
You can make variation by changing the flavors of simple syrup, with herbs like basil, pineapple etc.
Also adding fresh juice to julep like cucumber julep with cucumber juice, pineapple julep with pineapple juice, Hibiscus julep with hibiscus tea.
If you like this cocktail here is other bourbon-based cocktails you give it a try.
If are not a fan of making cocktails from scratch at home, there is the pre-made kit, you need to add some ice and enjoy. However, I feel these are simple cocktails you do not need to learn extra bar-attending skills. Just make with fresh mint from your garden and a simple syrup and your favorite brand of Bourbon.
If you try this recipe, please tag me @nidhinikhil in Instagram and @zestysouthindiankitchen in Facebook.
You can make mint julep with other alcohol too, with brandy (Butchertown Julep) Tequila ( Añejo Julep) Gin (Hendrick’s Rose Julep) Rum( Bacardí Rum Julep) and Brandy (Jersey Julep).
- 2 Ounce Bourbon
- 0.5 Ounce mint simple syrup
- 6-7 Mint leaves
- Crushed ice
- Mint Sprigs for Garnish
For Mint Syrup
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 10-12 mint leaves
For Mint Simple Syrup
- In a small bowl add ¼ cup sugar and ¼ water and bring to boil. Then add mint leaves
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, without stirring, until the syrup is slightly reduced and syrupy, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the syrup to a bowl and let stand to cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Discard the mint leaves.
- Let it cool to room temperature. Store in a covered glass jar in the refrigerator for up to six months.
- In a Julep cup add mint leaves, then add mint simple syrup. Lightly muddle the mint leaves with back of spoon or wooden muddle so that it releases mint leaves.
- Add the bourbon then pack the glass tightly with crushed ice.
- Stir until the cup is frosted on the outside.
- Top with more crushed ice to form an ice dome, and garnish with a mint sprig
This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.