Watermelon Julep
Watermelon Julep

Watermelon Basil Julep

Make your next cocktail waft like an herb garden by adding basil to this sure-bet Mint Julep recipe. Refreshing watermelon makes this pick just ripe for race season.


  • 2 parts Maker’s Mark® Bourbon
  • 3–5 watermelon cubes
  • 1/2 part lemon juice
  • 1/2 part simple syrup
  • 4 fresh basil leaves
  • 4 fresh mint leaves
Pro Tips
Slap Happy
Slapping herbs like basil and mint against your wrist or hand before using them as a garnish will actually help stimulate their fragrances.
Muddle Ground
Avoid over-muddling or using too much force. Bruising your mint can result in unwanted bitterness.
Sweeten the Deal
Simple syrup sure lives up to its name. In a saucepan, just dissolve a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water together over medium heat and then cool. Double the sugar for a thicker syrup.
Last Straw
The straw was invented especially for the icy Mint Julep. We encourage this use, but be cool and choose a reusable or biodegradable straw.
Win the Cup
The vessel a drink is served in can enhance the experience. Frosty, pewter julep cups are part of the joy of this drink. Hold your cup from the top or bottom to keep it that way.

How to

  1. Add all ingredients to shaker.
  2. Muddle to break up the watermelon and express the basil and mint oils.
  3. Add ice.
  4. Shake and fine strain into julep cup.
  5. Add crushed ice.
  6. Garnish with mint, basil and a sprinkle of sea salt.

History of the Mint Julep

The Mint Julep we know and love today became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby in 1938 but was actually invented in Virginia, where many took it for stomach ailments. Originally made with brandy or rum, this Southern favorite reaches perfection when bourbon, particularly Maker's Mark, is used as the spirit of choice. Long before the Watermelon Basil Julep, there was the "julepe" (from Spanish Arabic) and "goláb," the Persian word for "rosewater." "Julep" is thought to be derived from both words.

Get your Maker's®

However you choose to make it, a great Mint Julep calls for a great bourbon. You can pick your odds-on favorite below.

Makers Mark bourbon bottle variants lined up on outside bar
Makers Mark bourbon bottle variants lined up on outside bar