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Drink of the Derby: The Mint Julep

Make sure you have a silver cup in hand and plenty of mint-infused simple syrup in the fridge come Kentucky Derby time. Here’s how to make the classic Churchill Downs cocktail.

They go through a whopping 1,000 lbs. of fresh mint each year during the Kentucky Derby, but to make the perfect mint julep at home, all you’ll need is a few sprigs (ideally, the homegrown stuff from your own windowsill). Whether you’re hosting a Derby party at home, or saddling up at an OTB, make sure you wear linen and have a proper julep handy. Here’s what you’ll need.


1 tbsp. mint-infused simple syrup
Sprigs of fresh mint
Crushed ice
Silver Julep Cup


The night before the big race, make some simple syrup with two cups of sugar and two cups of water. Add a few mint sprigs and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. The following day, make one julep at a time by filling your metal cup with crushed ice, then adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of whiskey. Stir and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Watch our May To-Do List for more tips on how to make the most of the month.

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