Kentucky Derby Mint Juleps

This weekend, the Churchill Downs racetrack will go through more than 10,000 bottles of Early Times Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint and 60,000 pounds of ice, according to last year’s count. That’s about 120,000 Mint Juleps, the official drink of the Kentucky Derby since the first races in 1875.

Some say the silver-cupped cocktail was enjoyed in Virginia as early as the 17th century, but most credit the delicious combo of mint and bourbon to Kentucky Senator Henry Clay. Either way, the Julep has been a staple of the South for quite some time. So if you won’t be making your way down to Louisville this weekend, here’s the Derby-approved recipe. And we can bet you won’t be disappointed.



  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Sprigs of fresh mint
  • Crushed ice
  • Early Times Kentucky Whisky
  • Silver Cups


Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of the whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

recipe courtesy

About the Author: Lindsey Singer


Elsie is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsyvania; her writing has appeared in a few university publications, under tables and on the sides of trains. She likes taking Polaroid pictures and planning rooftop picnics.