It’s the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, but also it’s a delightful cocktail for any sunny day. Instead of the traditional method of muddling mint leaves, I like to make mint-infused simple syrup. It’s more user friendly for your Derby party, and it’s great to have on hand when you need a spur of the moment refreshing bourbon drink.
- 1 oz mint simple syrup
- 1 cup crushed ice
- 2 oz Woodford Reserve bourbon (it’s the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby, but you can use any bourbon you’d like. I also favor Bulleit Bourbon or Buffalo Trace)
- Fresh mint sprig, for garnish
To highball glass or Mint Julep cup, add minted simple syrup, then fill with crushed ice (I scored this sweet vintage ice crusher, but I also like the ease of this mallet and bag option or this heavy-duty electric ice-shaver). Add bourbon and splash of water (optional).
Add enough of remaining ice to fill glass. Stir well and garnish with mint sprig and metal julep straw.
For a more affordable drinkware option without sacrificing style, I prefer the Crate & Barrel glasses (shown above).