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5 High-Horsepower Julep Cocktails to Fuel Your Kentucky Derby Party

Mint Julep

The 139th running of the Kentucky Derby is this weekend, and that can mean only one thing: Mint Juleps. (And hot southern chicks in oversized bonnets, but we’ll focus on the drinks for now.)

Just in case you’ve never had a Mint Julep because it sounds like a cocktail Miss Daisy would drink as she’s being driven around, you should know the main ingredient is a healthy pour of bourbon. Yep, the basic, traditional Julep is bourbon, mint leaves, sugar and crushed ice — all served in a silver or pewter cup that allows frost to form on the outside.

So, to get your Kentucky Derby party out of the gate fast, here are 5 high-horsepowered julep recipes—3 traditional with bourbon, and a couple not-so-traditional twists—that are simple to make and perfect for toasting the most exciting 2 minutes in sports.


The Basil Julep



2 oz. Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
1 oz. simple syrup
5 Mint Leaves – muddled

Place ingredients into a pewter cup or highball glass. Stir. Fill glass with crushed ice.



Storyville Julep



by Bobby “G” Gleason, Beam Master Mixologist
1 1/2 parts Knob Creek Bourbon
1/2 part Thin Honey Syrup (3 parts honey, 2 parts water)
1 1/2 parts Fresh Pressed Pineapple Juice
6 Fresh Mint Leaves
Club Soda

Muddle pineapple juice, honey syrup and mint in a tall highball glass. Fill with ice, add Knob Creek Bourbon and stir top with club soda. Garnish with a pineapple clip and mint top.



Honey Bourbon Berry Smash



8 mint leaves
4 raspberries
4 blackberries
2 lemon wedges
3 parts Bärenjäger honey and bourbon

Muddle forst 4 ingredients and add Bärenjäger honey and bourbon. Add 1-2 ice cubes and shake well. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with a mint sprig.



Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine Mint Julep



2 oz. Ole Smoky Original Moonshine
1 oz. Simple Syrup
Fresh muddled lime and mint leaves

Stir all ingredients with crushed ice. Perfect when served in a mason jar.



Southern Gentleman



1 1/4 ounces Ketel One Oranje™ Flavored Vodka
1/4 ounces peach schnapps
1/4 ounces Fresh Lime Juice
Lemon Lime Soda
Orange Wheel for Garnish

Pour Ketel One Oranje, peach schnapps, fresh lime juice and lemon lime soda into a rocks glass filled with ice. Stir gently. Garnish with orange wheel.


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