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How to Make a Great Kentucky Derby Mint Julep

Mint Julep recipe for the Kentucky Derby

Mint Julep recipe for the Kentucky Derby

Each year, approximately 127,000 mint juleps are served on Friday and Saturday during Kentucky Derby weekend at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. The track goes through roughly 2,250 pounds of mint and 475,000 pounds of ice during the festivities.

To recreate the Derby Day experience from the comfort of your own home, all you need are a few ingredients — and maybe a big hat or seersucker suit. Here’s an easy recipe for a Maker’s Mark Mint Julep to enjoy during the “Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” at the 144th Kentucky Derby (May 5).


• Bourbon

• Simple syrup

• Fresh mint

• Distilled water

• Crushed ice

• Powdered sugar

Mix it Up

Mix 2 tablespoons simple syrup, muddled with fresh mint, along with 1½ parts (roughly 2¼ ounces) Maker’s Mark Bourbon and a splash of distilled water. Fill glass with crushed ice and pour mixture over top. Sprinkle top of ice with powdered sugar. Garnish with a mint sprig. Enjoy.

Make Your Own Simple Syrup

Mix 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup distilled water in a pot, heat on the stovetop to dissolve sugar, stirring constantly so the sugar does not burn. Set aside to cool.