Mint Julep Recipe | Classic Kentucky Derby Drink

If it’s the first Saturday in May here in the United States, it’s Kentucky Derby day! There are several iconic traditions that go hand in hand with the Derby, and one of those is a minty, sweet bourbon drink: the Mint Julep. Use this classic Mint Julep recipe to serve up the perfect Derby drink!

Mint Julep HERO

The Kentucky Derby Tradition

Every year since 1875, spectators have flocked to Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky for the running of the Kentucky Derby horse race. The Derby is 1 of the 3 horse races in the “Triple Crown” of racing. The Kentucky Derby is not just a horse race. It’s a whole social experience!

If watching the Derby in person isn’t an option, you can have fun attending (or hosting!) a Kentucky Derby party. At the Derby party, it can be fun to theme your menu and outfit to match the real thing.

Derby attire traditionally consists of bright, Spring-y colors. Women often choose a fancy hat to compliment their dress (some actually START by choosing the hat.. then the dress). Men can don bright colors as well, choosing nice slacks and a blazer. They can absolutely join in the hat fun with a fedora or bowler! No matter how formal or informal you dress, the key is to have fun with it and choose an outfit you will be comfortable in as you have fun with friends.

Mint Julep Derby Drink

Just as a fancy hat is synonymous with the Kentucky Derby, so is a classic mint julep drink. This drink is for the 21+ crowd and it offers a minty fresh savory libation that is perfect to sip as you enjoy cheering on your favorite horse. Mint juleps have a long history of tradition in America.

Follow the easy directions below to serve up this Derby delight.

Mint Julep Tilt Hero

Mint Julep Ingredients

  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 10 mint leaves, no stems, more for garnish
  • 2.5 ounces bourbon
  • Crushed ice
Mint Julep Ingredients

How to Make a Mint Julep Drink

Follow these simple steps to make up your drink!

Mint Julep Tilt Hero

Classic Mint Julep

Mix up a classic mint julep for your Kentucky Derby party!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1


  • .5 oz simple syrup
  • 10 mint leaves no stems, have more on hand for garnish
  • 2.5 oz bourbon
  • crushed ice


  • Add the simple syrup and mint leaves to the cocktail shaker.
    Mint Julep Simple Syrup
  • Muddle the mint leaves so they give off their minty aroma. Don't pulverize the leaves as this can release some bitter notes.
    Mint Julep Crushing Mint Leaves
  • Pour in the bourbon.
    adding bourbon to mint julep
  • Add ice and shake well.
    Mint Julep Crushed Ice
  • Pour into a glass and garnish with mint leaves.
  • Enjoy!
    Mint Julep Tilt Hero
Keyword drink

I hope that you enjoy this drink! Make sure you take a few minutes to browse the other recipes that have posted!

Do you watch the Kentucky Derby every year? Have you ever attended or thrown a Derby party? Drop us a comment and tell us about it!


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