Know Your Cocktail: Mint Julep

A weekly series where we teach you how to up your cocktail know-how and not embarrass yourself at your next hostess gig.

With the Kentucky Derby fast approaching, we thought it was high time you lot get some class. Specifically: learn to make that sweet, southern nectar of the Gods known as the Mint Julep. With only 4 ingredients, it’s impossible to mess up, and you’ll quickly become the hostess with the most-ess at your derby day party.

Classic Mint Julep (serves 1)

recipe_aquavit-julep_1000x10001 scant oz minted simple syrup (more on that below)

2 cups crushed ice

2 oz good bourbon (such as Woodford Reserve)

Fresh mint sprig, for garnish


To either a highball glass, or a classic silver Julep cup (like the one here), add the minted simple syrup, 1 cup of crushed ice, bourbon, and a splash of water. Stir well, and garnish with your mint sprig.

To Make the Minted Syrup:

In a heavy medium saucepan, stir together 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat slightly, and let simmer for 5 more minutes. Take the pan off heat, add 1 bunch of fresh mint leaves, and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture, and let refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours. The syrup can be made up to a week ahead of time, and keeps well in the fridge.

Now clink those glasses and cheer on your horse!




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