Don your big hats and gingham and get ready for race day with this classic Mint Julep recipe straight from the Kentucky Derby itself!

Recipe by @kentuckyderby

Photo by

Mint julep in a cold tin cup garnished with mint, cocktail recipes, Kentucky derby cocktail recipes, mint julep ingredients, how to make a mint julep

It's Derby Day! And no Kentucky Derby is complete without a Mint Julep (or 3).

Did you know that the first link between Mint Juleps and the Kentucky Derby dates back to the 1820s? However, it wasn't until 1939 that it officially became the drink of the race. Today, more than 120,000 Mint Juleps are served over the course of the 2-day period at Churchill Downs, requiring 10,000 bottles of Old Forester Mint Julep (a blend of Bourbon and fresh mint), 1,000 pounds of fresh mint, and 60,000 pounds of ice!

Below is the classic Mint Julep recipe according to the Kentucky Derby itself, but don't be afraid to swap out the Old Forester Mint Julep for plain old Bourbon and to mix the drink to taste (which for me is heavy on the mint and Bourbon, light on the sweetener!). Just make sure you don your gingham and big hats in order to enjoy this tipple properly!

COCKTAIL: Classic Mint Julep


3 oz Old Forester Mint Julep

3/4 oz Simple Syrup

8-10 mint leaves

Garnish: 3 sprigs of fresh mint


Pack a Mint Julep cup with crushed ice. In a mixing glass, combine Bourbon, simple syrup, and mint leaves. Lightly bruise mint leaves with a muddler and then strain contents into the Julep cup. Garnish with 3 generous sprigs of mint. Make sure to slap the mint before garnishing and insert straw into the ice near the mint!

Allie is the founder of Parched Around the World and the owner of Parched Global, LLC, a communications company based in Atlanta, GA. She's a Certified Sommelier and a foodie at heart, and is forever suffering from a severe case of wanderlust! When life allows, you can find Allie traveling around the world and photographing her adventures both domestically and abroad. Feel free to get in touch with her by email at or to connect on Instagram at @aaalbanese and @parchedaroundtheworld.