Mint Julep Recipe

Whatever its history, this Derby Day drink was mint to be.

Mint julep at The Vault at Pfaff's in NYC

Mint julep at The Vault at Pfaff's in NYC

Mint acts as an ingredient and garnish in this classic Mint Julep recipe.

Mint is one of the hardiest herbs in the garden. If you water it, it grows. If you ignore it, it grows. If you mow it all down and till up the soil, it will come back like nothing ever happened.

And that's good because you need plenty of it for a Mint Julep, the traditional drink of Derby Day. The origins of the Mint Julep are somewhat muddled, but who has the time to document things when you've got bourbon, sugar and water to drink? Maybe someone thought their glass of sugary bourbon water could use a pop of color. Or maybe crushed mint takes the bite out of bourbon and looks good doing it.

Either way, there are as many different recipes for a Mint Julep as there are hats on the ladies in the box seats at Churchill Downs. But this one gets the job done when it's time to toast your horse in the home stretch.

Classic Mint Julep

Courtesy of The Vault at Pfaff's

  • 2.5 oz. Bourbon
  • .75 oz. Simple syrup
  • 5 sprigs of fresh mint

Quickly muddle mint and syrup in the bottom of a julep or highball glass. Add crushed ice and the bourbon then swirl with a bar spoon until the outside of the glass frosts. Garnish with a fresh sprigs of mint.

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