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Mint Julep Recipe: How To Make The Kentucky Derby’s Official Drink

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It’s about to be the first Saturday in May, meaning the 2018 Kentucky Derby is set to officially kickoff Triple Crown season at Churchill Downs in Kentucky. The 2018 edition of the 1.25-mile race will be the 144th running of the derby — also known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” and “The Run for the Roses.”

The Kentucky Derby airs on NBC, with an expected post time of 6:30 p.m. ET.

If you are unable to attend the derby in person but still want to carry out some of the race’s traditions in the comfort of your own home, we have you covered beginning with the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, the Mint Julep.

How can you make the Mint Julep at home? Here is the official recipe used at Churchill Downs for The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.


The Old Forester Mint Julep Recipe

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Sprigs of fresh mint
  • Crushed ice
  • Old Forester Straight Bourbon Whisky
  • Silver Julep Cups

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Old Forester Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.


About The Mint Julep

According to the official Kentucky Derby website, nearly 120,000 Mint Juleps are served at Churchill Downs Racetrack during the two-day period for the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby weekend. That includes more than 60,000 pounds of ice, 10,000 bottles of Old Forester Mint Julep ready-to-serve cocktail, and 1,000 pounds of fresh mint.

The Mint Juleps are served at the racetrack in either an ice-frosted silver julep cup or a souvenir glass. Each year since 1939 the Kentucky Derby has updated the souvenir glasses with all previous winners featured on the cup.

If you are looking for some food to pair with your Mint Julep, consider some burgoo, a thick stew of beef, chicken, pork, and vegetables that is a very popular Kentucky dish often served at the derby. It’s an easy way to bring the Louisville traditions into your home.


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