This post is sponsored by Old Forester. Intended for those 21 years and older. Always drink responsibly.
When you think about classic cocktails, a mint julep is iconic. It’s such an easy cocktail to make and calls for very few ingredients. Making it super easy and quick to create at home. It’s a quintessential drink in the south. But it’s best known for being the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. This event has been happening since 1875 and is synonymous with the first Saturday in May. Grab your dress, a statement hat, and a mint julep because it’s Derby Day!
Classic Mint Julep Recipe
To make sure you’re ready to celebrate Derby Day at home, you have to make the classic cocktail to watch the most exciting two minutes in sports. It’s so easy to make and just requires a handful of really easy ingredients. Today we’ll be using Old Forester 86 Proof which is a great whisky to have for sipping neat or on the rocks, or in a cocktail. It has notes of vanilla and oak and has a bit of sweetness to it. It’s the perfect whisky to build a classic mint julep with.
Classic Mint Julep Ingredients
- 2 oz Old Forester 86 Proof
- 0.75 oz simple syrup
- 8-10 mint leaves, for muddling
- Crushed ice
- 3 sprigs of mint, for garnish
Step One – Make A Simple Syrup
You can create your own at home with equal parts water and sugar simmered in a pan until dissolved. Let cool. You can also find simple syrups in your local liquor store if you like. Recipe and instructions are also below.
Step Two – Make Your Cocktail
In a glass, or cocktail shaker, muddle your mint leaves with your simple syrup to break up the oils of the herbs. Add your Old Forester 86 Proof and stir with a cocktail spoon. You can then strain this over your crushed ice in a julep cup. Forget the rocks glass, or coupes, this cocktail is traditionally served up in a classic julep cup and it just makes this simple cocktail feel so special.
Step Three – Garnish
Lastly, garnish with mint sprigs. But before you garnish, place the mint in your hand and slap the mint to help release some oils. This will make the mint smell so amazing and you’ll both smell and taste it as you enjoy your mint julep cocktail.
How To Make Simple Syrup For Mint Julep
Grab a small saucepan and place it over medium heat. Add equal parts sugar and water and gently stir until dissolved.
Let the mixture gently simmer. Once it’s dissolved and has heated through, you can pour it into a glass container to use in cocktails. Let it cool before using.
Best Mint For Mint Julep
If you head to your local grocery store, the good news is, you’ll find the best mint for a mint julep. The best mint for this cocktail is spearmint. There’s no need to seek out unique, exotic variations of this herb, making this delicious bourbon cocktail super easy to make!