Friday, May 3, 2013

Mint Julep

Just in time for tomorrow's Kentucky Derby, here is the most classic of mint cocktails: the Mint Julep. The drink originated in the American south and is traditionally made of bourbon, sugar, ice and mint.

Portland's Clyde Common bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler's excellent cocktail blog (which he sadly doesn't appear to update anymore) has a good recipe for a classic mint julep, as well as a post dismissing a version made with lime, lime juice, sour mix and Sprite as "the most horrific excuse for a Mint Julep many of you have ever seen." Bottom line: Mint Julep doesn't have lime--that's a mojito, which is a great drink but not a julep.

Although I'm challenged by a couple things to match the pedigree of Morgenthaler's drink. Unfortunately, I don't metal julep cups, so I used highball glasses. I also lack a good tool for making crushed ice pieces of a roughly consistent size (I use a food processor). Despite that, I've tried to be faithful to the classic, simple recipe. Hopefully if Morgenthaler saw this he wouldn't declare it a "horrific excuse" for the drink. 

Mint Julep

12 mint leaves
1/2 oz. simple syrup
2 oz. bourbon (I used Woodford Reserve)
Mint sprig (garnish)

Add mint leaves and simple syrup to a glass or julep cup and gently muddle together. Add bourbon and stir to combine. Fill glass with finely crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig. 


  1. Hey, look at that nice bartender's stirrer thingy in the middle pic!