Do you love bourbon? Do you love mint? Learn how make a mint julep from scratch! This classic Kentucky cocktail is perfect for hot summer days and for Derby day, as well. After all, the Derby is only 47 days away!
Each Spring, I start collecting mint plants.
Sweet mint, peppermint, chocolate mint, pineapple mint – any mint is fair game!
Is that normal?
As soon as the mint pops up above the ground, I start cooking with it. I make fresh mint tea, mint simple syrup, chocolate mint ice cream and mint-infused water.
As any self-respecting bourbon lover knows- mint and bourbon were born to be together. They’re a classic combination – like peas and carrots, you might say.
This recipe tutorial will talk you through how to make a mint julep – the classic Kentucky cocktail that mixed mint and bourbon into a refreshing glass of awesomeness.
DO I NEED COCKTAIL MIX?
NO! In fact, those neon green bottles of mint julep mix should stay far, far away from you liquor cabinet.
HOW TO MAKE A MINT JULEP FROM SCRATCH:
If you want to learn how to make a mint julep, you’ve come to the right place. You also don’t need anything fancy to get started.
To make a mint julep, you need three ingredients and you might want a fourth.
First, you need mint. Are you growing mint in your garden? This is a perfect time to unusual varieties of mint. (My favorite mint for this a chocolate mint.)
Next, you need bourbon. Not sure of what kind to buy? Maker’s Mark is a basic go-to if you aren’t sure, but make ask those alcoholic friends of yours of their personal preference.
Finally, you need sugar. You’ll be turning the sugar into a quick and easy simple syrup along with a little water.
What’s the optional fourth ingredient? I like to add sparkling water, tonic water, or club soda to my mint julep. It adds sparkle and fizz and makes the cocktail even more refreshing.
DO I NEED ANY SPECIAL BAR EQUIPMENT?
NOT REALLY. You need to muddle the mint leaves into the simple syrup the mint leaves into the simple syrup by pressing them around in the syrup. This will release some favor from the mint into the syrup.
You will want a cocktail muddler to make your life a little easier.
Don’t have one? You can also use a pestle or the handle of a wooden spoon.
DO I NEED SPECIAL JULEP GLASSES?
Short answer – NO.
Traditionally, juleps are served in metal julep cups (like the ones in the photos). These glasses are nice because they keep this icy drink extra cold.
If you’ve ever experienced a hot, muggy summer in Kentucky, you’ll understand why this a very good thing to have in your hand.
That said, it’s perfectly acceptable to serve a mint julep in whatever glass you do have. If you’re skipping the sparkling water, an old fashioned glass would be perfect. If you’re adding sparkling water (or club soda, or tonic water), a highball glass would also work well.
HOW TO MAKE A MINT JULEP
Once you’ve gathered all of your ingredients, simply chill your glasses, muddle the mint with a little simple syrup, simply chill your glasses, muddle the mint with a little simple syrup, add the ice, add the bourbon and stir it all up!
Pour a little sparkling water on top (if that fits your fancy) and top it all off with a little more mint!
Enjoy this cold, refreshing drink and then let me know what you think!
If you are looking to add more mint julep ingredients into your arsenal, then look into some things I’ve linked below.
- MINT JULEP GLASSES
- OLD FASHIONED GLASSES
- EVAN WILLIAMS MINT JULEP MIX
- SET OF 8 HIGHBALL GLASSES
- COCKTAIL MUDDLER
Are you a fan of mint juleps? Do you have any secret ingredients you have in your arsenal? Let’s chat in the comments below!