The Kentucky Mint Julep

The Kentucky Mint Julep History

The Kentucky Mint Julep
The mint julep is not only a Kentucky favorite or a mere southern tradition, it is Kentucky's signature cocktail, and is indeed an American Classic that excites passion, curiosity, and more than a little enchantment. The essential mint julep is made with bourbon and mint syrup pored over ice and garnished with a sprig of fresh mint. Although there are many variations and personal preferences, here is one version of "THE PERFECT MINT JULEP."

Rye, Scotch, Rum, Brandy, Gin and even Champagne, can be, and have been, combined with mint syrup to make a 'mint julep." Bourbon, however, "the most famous American whisky," became forever wedded to the mint julep and sealed Kentucky's claim to the drink. As early as 1816, Kentuckians were "awarding silver julep cups as prizes at county fairs," and the rest – as they say – is history.

At Churchill Downs, the clubhouse served mint juleps at the racetrack's inception in 1875. Reportedly, the mint grew conveniently out back. According to the Kentucky Derby Museums curator, the mint julep did not become the Downs' signature drink until 1938, at which time management began selling the drink in souvenir glasses – for seventy-five cents each.

“The Perfect Mint Julep Recipe Tray


5 ¾" x 4 5/16" Pewter Tray Engraved
w/"The Perfect Mint Julep" Recipe


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