About the Mint Julep

The mint julep became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby in 1938 but was actually invented in Virginia. This Southern favorite nears perfection when bourbon, particularly Maker's Mark®, is used as the spirit of choice.


Preparation Time
3 min

Flavor Profile
Rich and Bright


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  • Step 1
    Mix mint and syrup
    Add all mint and syrup to a julep cup.
  • Step 2
    Smash gently
    Gently muddle mint to express the oils.
  • Step 3
    Prepare for a pour
    Add crushed ice.
  • Step 4

    Add in Maker's®

    Pour Maker's Mark® over (preferably crushed) ice.

  • Step 5
    Finish with a stir and garnish
    Stir and garnish with a mint sprig.
A bottle of Maker's Mark bourbon whisky behind a tall glass with a Bourbon Bloody Mary over ice and a pickle, celery, and lime garnish. A small bowl of lime slices is to the left.

Mint Julep

Red icon on a cream-colored background, representing a bottle of syrup.

Sweeten the deal

You want simple? In a sauce pan, dissolve a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water together over medium heat and cool. Double the sugar for thicker syrup.
Red icon on a cream-colored background, representing a mint leaf.

Muddle gently

Avoid over-muddling or using too much force. Bruising your mint can result in unwanted bitterness.
Red icon on a cream-colored background, representing an open hand.

Give it a slap

Slapping the mint against your wrist or hand before using it as a garnish can actually stimulate its fragrance.
Red icon on a cream-colored background, representing a Julep glass.

Julep cups

Like many cocktails, the vessel you serve it in can enhance the experience. Pewter julep cups look beautiful frosted over when filled with crushed ice and should be held from the top or bottom.
Red icon on a cream-colored background, representing a whisky glass with a straw.

Use a straw

The straw was invented so folks could more easily – and gracefully – enjoy their Mint Juleps. We encourage this, but please consider a reusable or biodegradable version.

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A photo of the classic Maker's Mark bourbon whisky bottle.