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Kentucky Derby Mint Julep

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A mint julep vendor on Kentucky Derby day

A mint julep vendor at work on 2007 Kentucky Derby day.

© Cindy Pierson Dulay
The mint julep is the traditional drink of Kentucky and the Kentucky Derby. It has been served for hundreds of years to help cool down the hot Kentucky summers and is now served by the thousands on Kentucky Derby day at Churchill Downs. There was even a book written about it: The Kentucky Mint Julep

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar 2 cups water fresh mint Crushed ice Kentucky Bourbon

Preparation:

Prepare mint syrup by boiling sugar and water together for 5 minutes. After it cools, pour it over 6-8 sprigs of mint (bruised slightly to release the taste) and refrigerate overnight in a covered container.

Make the individual juleps by filling a julep cup (silver is preferred) with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and 2 ounces of bourbon. Stir and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Interesting Trivia - In 1967, a mint julep cost $1.50 at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby weekend. In 2009 the cost was up to $9.00 and in 2012 it was up to $10.00. For the past few years, they have offered a special limited edition $1000 mint julep you can get which even includes gold dusted mint leaves!

More Kentucky Derby Traditions:

Related Video
Mint Julep Recipe

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