Nick Hall

How to Make the Best Mint Julep Recipe | Man of Many

The famed cocktail we now know as the Mint Julep wasn’t always a fan favourite. In fact, the early days of the concoction were shrouded in contention, with the proper preparation and Mint Julep ingredients hotly debated. But perhaps the most interesting revelation regarding the delicious cocktail was that it was never meant to be a cocktail in the first place. “The julep historically was a bracer — a medicinal drink, if you will — sometimes taken in the morning to help reduce aches and pains before the creation of aspirin and Tylenol,” Elizabeth McCall, assistant master distiller for Kentucky bourbon icon Woodford Reserve says.

What is a Mint Julep?

While other cocktails may boast deeper lineage and greater popularity, few have remained as relevant as the iconic Mint Julep recipe. “I think a lot of it has to do with Derby,” McCalls says. “The Derby is the biggest spectacle in sports, one of the last major events where everyone dresses their best. And, of course, it’s a civic duty to have a julep on Derby Day. So, the two make a perfect exacta.”

The Kentucky Derby Connection

When it comes to the proper Mint Julep ingredients, there are several lines of thinking. From a modern perspective, you could make it with gin, but tradition suggests you may face criticism for it. So, just what is in a Mint Julep exactly? According to locals, the only way to make a true Mint Julep is with Kentucky bourbon.

Mint Julep Ingredients

Much like the ingredients, not a lot goes into the best Mint Julep recipe. In fact, those wondering how to make a mint julep will be happy to note it is super easy to put together, which, under the hot Kentucky sun is a win in our books. The simple recipe opens up the opportunity for great depth of flavour, but it all comes down to the method. Here is the best Mint Julep recipe, as put together by Woodford Reserve’s Elizabeth McCall. Here’s her guide on how to make a Mint Julep;

Best Mint Julep Recipe

For seasoned mixologists, the old Mint Julep might be a little plain and creatively unsatisfying but that’s no reason to give up on the cocktail, particularly on Derby Day. We asked McCall for her advice on how to elevate the Mint Julep recipe while still staying true to the iconic flavours.

Bourbon Mint Julep Variations

Selection of Whisky Cocktails

Alternatives to Making a Mint Julep

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