Rating: 4 stars
16 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 7
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 0
  • 16 Ratings

The secret to this delicious Derby cocktail? Don’t muddle the mint. According to mixologist Alexandra Stiles, founder of Amendment 21 Event Bartending in Lexington, Ky., muddling can make your drink taste overly bitter. It makes sense, as muddling bruises the mint and breaks it into bits. Instead, simply clap the mint leaves in your palms to release the herb's oils before adding them to your cocktail. “This gives you that mint aroma while you’re drinking it,” says Stiles. The drink is best served in authentic silver julep cups, which ensure a crisp, cold drink from start to finish “I have my grandmother’s old set, a lot of people in Kentucky have them for derby parties," says Stiles. Don’t have any? Try Moscow mule mugs in a pinch or double old fashioned glasses. Either will stay frosty on the outside and keep the liquid cold, so you aren’t warming it up with your hands as you sip. For the best tasting mint, buy fresh from the grocery store and avoid the less vibrant versions kept in plastic containers. And if you want to put your drink over the top, add some muddled blackberries. Cheers!


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary test

5 mins
5 mins
Serves 1


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a mint julep cup or thick glass, mix the sugar with 1 teaspoon water until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Clap the 6 mint leaves in your palms to release the herb's oils, then add them to the simple syrup. Pack the glass with crushed ice and top with the bourbon. Serve garnished with the mint sprigs. 


Nutrition Facts

210 calories; sodium 3mg; protein 1g; carbohydrates 3g; calcium 17mg.