Mint Julep

The Mint Julep has long been the “traditional drink” of Churchill Downs during the most famous two minutes in sports…the Kentucky Derby. Served annually at this event for at least 100 years, the mint julep is extremely popular with visitors. The number of drinks made over the two-day period including the Kentucky Oaks and the Derby now tops at well over 100,000.

The cocktail consists of a mixture of bourbon, mint, sugar and water poured over crushed ice, and garnished with a sprig of fresh mint. When traditionally made, mint leaves and sugar are crushed or muddled to release the mint oil and flavor. When this is not the case, a mint syrup is also used. Bourbon is then added to the mix, and it is poured over crushed ice. The cocktail is then served in a silver or pewter cup, held by the rim or at the bottom, or alternatively the drink is served in a Collins or high ball glass and garnished with a fresh sprig of mint.