Mint Julep Recipe

The Mint Julep is an iconic cocktail made with bourbon, sugar and mint. It’s a refreshing drink popular in the Southern United States, particularly during the summer months and the Kentucky Derby. Its flavour profile is a sweet and minty balance of flavours, complemented by the unique kick of the bourbon.

A Mint Julep is often served in a rocks glass (or a Julep cup if you have one) over crushed ice and decorated with a sprig of fresh mint, making it as beautiful as it is delicious. Learn How to make a Mint Julep below!

Mint Julep

Recipe by Maurice Beaver
Prep time






  • 2 ounces of Bourbon

  • 0.3 ounce of Simple Syrup

  • 6 Mint Leaves (spearmint)

  • 1 Sprig of Mint (optional)


  • In a rocks glass muddle mint leaves into Simple Syrup
  • Add Bourbon
  • Pack glass with crushed ice and stir
  • Garnish with Mint Sprig


    Can I use Sugar Cubes for a Mint Julep?

    If you don’t have Simple Syrup, you can use one sugar cube (or a teaspoon of fine sugar) instead to make your Mint Julep. To do this, add a couple of drops of water to your rocks glass, and muddle the mint and sugar cubes together. Muddling releases the natural oils in the mint leaves, which is important if you want to taste the mint.

    The reason why you would want to use Simple Syrup is that regular sugar will make your Mint Julep gritty or sludgy.

    What Type of Mint for a Mint Julep?

    Use Spearmint for your Mint Julep, not Peppermint. You can buy Mint at any grocery store, or grow it in your backyard or on your balcony. Mint is super easy to grow, but always plant it in containers, and never let it go to seed. Mint will take over your garden as it’s a very invasive plant.

    What Type of Bourbon for a Mint Julep?

    Makers Mark, Bullet, Knob Creek and Woodruff are all great examples of Bourbon you can uses for a Mint Julep. I’m up in Canada and I don’t drink a lot of Bourbon, thus, I tend to use less expensive Bourbon for a Mint Julep when I’m in the mood, such as Jim Beam or Makers Mark.

    Do I need Crushed Ice for a Mint Julep?

    Crushed Ice works best for Mint Julep as it keeps the beverage cold and refreshing without watering it down. If you don’t have crushed ice, you can make some in a food processor. Ice cubes work as well, however, the drink won’t come off as tingly and refreshing.

    What does a Mint Julep taste like?

    The first sip is fresh, strong and crisp. As the ice melts the cocktail becomes more refreshing. A mint sprig garnish adds to the excitement of the drink as you get a big nose-full of fresh mint with every sip.