Classic Mint Juleps

Classic Mint Juleps

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.

Cooking Light MAY 2007

  • Yield: 8 servings


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


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.

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

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 170
  • Calories from fat: 0.0%
  • Fat: 0.0g
  • Saturated fat: 0.0g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0.0g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.0g
  • Protein: 0.0g
  • Carbohydrate: 25g
  • Fiber: 0.0g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg
  • Iron: 0.0mg
  • Sodium: 0.0mg
  • Calcium: 0.0mg

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Classic Mint Juleps Recipe