How to Make a Mint Julep

Here’s a tutorial on this all-important Derby Day skill.

The Mint Julep has been associated with Kentucky Derby festivities since the 1930s. Each year almost 120,000 of these classic Southern cocktails are served at Churchill Downs over Kentucky Derby weekend. According to, “That’s a feat that requires more than 10,000 bottles of Old Forester Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint and 60,000 pounds of ice.”

The Derby’s official recipe has varied over the years, depending on its bourbon sponsor. Here’s the most recent version, which features Old Forester Kentucky Bourbon:

The Old Forester Mint Julep Recipe


  • 3 oz Old Forester Mint Julep
  • 0.75 oz Simple Syrup
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • 3 mint sprigs, for garnish


Pack mint julep cup with crushed ice. In a mixing glass, combine bourbon, syrup, and mint leaves. Lightly bruise mint leaves with a muddler, strain contents into julep cup. Garnish with 3 generous sprigs of mint.

*Make sure to slap mint. Make sure to insert straw into ice near mint.

A Google search will turn up any number of variations on the theme, but for our intents and purposes, here’s an easy-to-follow, no-frills tutorial on the classic:

Go Riding!

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