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Classic Mint Juleps

Yield 8 servings
Though the author prefers his bourbon on the rocks, this lightly sweetened concoction is a classic that has been enjoyed throughout the South since long before the first Kentucky Derby. This rendition won our Test Kitchens' top score.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 16 mint sprigs, lightly crushed
  • 8 cups finely crushed ice
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • Mint sprigs (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 170
  • caloriesfromfat 0.0 %
  • fat 0.0 g
  • satfat 0.0 g
  • monofat 0.0 g
  • polyfat 0.0 g
  • protein 0.0 g
  • carbohydrate 25 g
  • fiber 0.0 g
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • iron 0.0 mg
  • sodium 0.0 mg
  • calcium 0.0 mg

How to Make It

  1. Bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cook 4 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Remove sugar syrup from heat; cool completely. Place 2 crushed mint sprigs in the bottom of each of 8 glasses. Add 1 cup crushed ice, 2 tablespoons sugar syrup, and 2 tablespoons bourbon to each glass. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.

  2. Spirit note: Bourbon is America's original spirit, made primarily from corn with varying amounts of wheat, barley, and rye. Wild Turkey 80 ($18) may sound like your grandfather's whiskey, but this smooth yet rich bourbon with caramel sweetness, vanilla aromas, and a touch of spice is a superb foundation for a mint julep. For a lighter-bodied, fruitier, and gentler style, choose a bourbon with a lot of wheat, like Maker's Mark ($23). --Jeffery Lindenmuth