This year’s Kentucky Derby—the 145th running of the fabled race—goes off on May 4. That means it’s time to bone up on the recipe for the signature Derby Day drink, the Mint Julep. The Julep has been a crucial part of the Run for the Roses since 1938, and with good reason: It’s got a generous base of Kentucky’s greatest export, bourbon, along with muddled mint, copious amounts of crushed ice, and more mint as garnish. It’s perfect for a hot day, easy to make, extremely tasty—and, oh yeah, pretty potent.
Here’s the way to do it right:
- 3 oz bourbon
- .5 oz simple syrup
- 6 mint leaves
- Mint sprig, for garnish
- Crushed ice
- Muddle mint leaves and simple syrup in a chilled Julep cup.
- Pack cup with crushed ice, and pour bourbon over the ice.
- Stir briskly. Add more ice and stir again.
- Garnish with mint sprig.