Chilled Mint Julep On A Hot Day

In the midst of horse racing season, it doesn’t get better than sitting back and rooting for your top pick with the perfect cocktail. And especially for watching the ponies, there is no better cocktail than the Mint Julep.

This classic Kentucky Derby standard marries sweetness with that herbaceous minty flavor we all know and love. Take down the Bourbon from the shelf, add a splash of simple syrup, and muddle in the mint. It’s that simple.

Want to know the best Bourbon for a Mint Julep? Check out our post covering that subject. But what are the best Mint Julep recipes? Are there variations that make this classic recipe even better?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Read on for the best Mint Julep recipes known to man. 

The Classic Mint Julep

A simple classic, the traditional Mint Julep is all you need to feel cool on a hot summer’s day.

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Crush ice. If you don’t have a canvas ice bag, fill a plastic resealable bag with ice and crush it inside. Or check out this video.
  2. Bruise the mint leaves with the simple syrup in the bottom of a julep cup or rocks glass. Need a glass? Check out Prestige Haus’s selection of rocks glasses.
  3. Fill the glass three-fourths full with crushed ice.
  4. Add the Bourbon. Stir until chilled.
  5. Top off the glass with more crushed ice and garnish with a sprig of mint. Serve immediately.

The Skinny Mint Julep

To quench that thirst for a Mint Julep with less sugar, we offer a Mint Julep for the health-conscious enthusiast that also takes the edge off the Bourbon.

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz. Bourbon
  • .5 tsp. sugar
  • 5 oz. water
  • 4 mint leaves
  • Splash of lime juice

Instructions:

  1. Crush ice. If you don’t have a canvas ice bag, fill a plastic resealable bag with ice and crush it inside.
  2. Muddle the sugar, lime juice, and water in the bottom of a julep cup or rocks glass.
  3. Bruise the mint leaves with the mixture.
  4. Fill the glass three-fourths full with crushed ice.
  5. Add Bourbon. Stir until chilled.
  6. Top off the glass with more crushed ice and garnish with a sprig of mint. Serve immediately.

Cucumber Julep

For those averse to Bourbon or looking for something that really screams summer, this Mint Julep recipe is for you. Leave the Bourbon on the shelf and grab the vodka from the freezer, because it is time for the freshest Mint Julep you’ll ever have.  

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz. Vodka
  • 2 oz. fresh-squeezed cucumber juice
  • .5 oz. lime juice
  • .5 oz. simple syrup
  • 6-8 mint leaves

Instructions:

  1. Crush ice. If you don’t have a canvas ice bag, fill a plastic resealable bag with ice and crush it inside.
  2. Muddle the simple syrup, lime juice, and cucumber juice in the bottom of a julep cup or rocks glass.
  3. Bruise the mint leaves with the mixture.
  4. Fill the glass three-fourths full with crushed ice.
  5. Add vodka. Stir until chilled.
  6. Top off the glass with more crushed ice and garnish with a sprig of mint and cucumber slices. Serve immediately.

Bourbon and Thyme Julep

Lean into the herbs with this Julep. Don’t call it a Mint Julep, though – this twist on the classic substitutes thyme for mint and adds an homage to the Old Fashioned with the inclusion of bitters.

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz. Bourbon (we recommend Basil Hayden for this one)
  • .75 oz. simple syrup
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs

Instructions:

  1. Muddle the simple syrup, bitters, and thyme sprigs in the bottom of a rocks glass.
  2. Add ice and Bourbon. Stir until chilled.
  3. Garnish with thyme sprig and serve.

Napolean Julep

This designer cocktail, created by Nicholas Bennett at New York City’s Porchlight bar, features Cognac and St-Germain instead of Bourbon. Named for the revolutionary French emperor, the Napolean Julep will take you from Kentucky to France in one sip. This one even teaches you how to make your own simple syrup, but if you want to develop this skill more, read this article.   

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Cognac
  • 1/2 oz. St-Germain
  • 1/4 oz. green tea syrup
  • 2 dashes bitters

Instructions:

  1. To make the green tea syrup: Bring two cups of water to a boil, then add four green tea bags and reduce to a simmer. After five minutes, remove from the heat, remove the tea bags, and stir in two cups of sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Add all ingredients to a Julep cup or rocks glass.
  3. Fill the glass with crushed ice and stir.
  4. Garnish with mint and serve.

Gin Julep

Take the Bourbon and swap it for gin – that’s the variation in this Julep recipe. Make sure to add the extra mint: it will make all the difference. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz. club soda
  • 15 mint leaves

Instructions:

  1. Muddle the simple syrup and mint leaves in the bottom of a Julep or rocks glass.
  2. Add the gin and crushed ice. Stir until chilled.
  3. Top with club soda and garnish with mint. Serve.

Grasshopper Julep

For a drink that echoes with the classic flavors of a Grasshopper, break out the mint chocolate chip ice cream and a tall glass. This minty concoction will resonate with all the classic Mint Julep flavors and let you indulge even more. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 scoops Mint Chocolate Chip or Vanilla ice cream
  • 1 oz. mint syrup
  • 5 oz. Bourbon
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Mint sprig

Instructions:

  1. Scoop ice cream into a tall glass.
  2. Pour the mint syrup and Bourbon over the ice cream.
  3. Stir to combine.
  4. Garnish with mint sprig and grated dark chocolate. Serve.

With racing season in full swing, there is nothing better than a well-made Mint Julep. Whether a classic Mint Julep or something a little different, try out these cocktails to see how perfectly they go with a big bet on a hot summer’s day.

Have another favorite Mint Julep recipe variation we should try? Leave it in the comments below.