It’s Kentucky Derby day and it’s 80 degrees outside, so let’s make mint juleps! Mint juleps are refreshing and boozy cocktails traditionally made with fresh mint, bourbon and simple syrup.
Mint juleps are for bourbon lovers, which is to say that they’re not for you if you don’t like bourbon.
My twist on the classic mint julep recipe? I used real maple syrup instead of simple syrup, which means that you don’t have to melt sugar into water. Maple mint juleps couldn’t be easier to make!
Bourbon and maple syrup are a flavor pairing made in heaven, and the maple syrup adds another subtle layer of flavor.
Mint Julep Ingredients
Here’s all you’ll need to make mint juleps at home:
- Fresh mint leaves (spearmint)
- Maple syrup
- Crushed ice
How to Make Mint Juleps
Here are the simple steps:
- Muddle up some mint in a sturdy glass.
- Add a drizzle of maple syrup.
- Pour in a generous splash of bourbon.
- Top it off with lots of crushed ice and a sprig of mint.
Mint Julep Tips
Crushed ice is best because it melts into the drink more quickly, which is most welcome when you’re sipping bourbon on a hot day. I actually stopped at Sonic for a large cup of ice and they kindly obliged (the large size provided barely enough ice for these three drinks).
Use quality bourbon. I used Old Overholt, which is an affordable favorite. Bulleit bourbon is very good, too.
Gently clap the sprig of mint before garnishing. I know this sounds crazy, but clapping the sprig once between your hands releases a lot of the natural oils in the mint, making it more fragrant.
Let’s cheers to the weekend! I have more cold bourbon drinks here, and more naturally sweetened cocktail recipes here.
Please let me know in the comments how these cocktails turn out for you. I can’t wait to hear from you.
Easy Mint Julep
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
- Category: Cocktail
- Method: Muddled and stirred
- Cuisine: American
These mint juleps are refreshing, boozy and so easy to make! You’ll just need fresh mint, bourbon, maple syrup and ice. Using maple syrup instead of simple syrup saves a step. Amounts given below yield 1 cocktail; make as many as you’d like in individual glasses.
- 10 fresh mint leaves, plus a mint sprig for garnish
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup, or to taste
- 2 ounces bourbon
- Crushed ice
- Place the mint leaves in the bottom of a sturdy old-fashioned or rocks glass. Muddle them until the leaves are dark, fragrant and broken down, about 30 seconds.
- Add the maple syrup and bourbon. Fill the glass with crushed ice and stir the drink for a few seconds.
- To garnish, gently clap the mint sprig in between your palms (this releases the fragrant mint oils). Place it in your glass and serve immediately.
Recipe roughly adapted from Alton Brown.
Recommended equipment: I like this muddler and these old-fashioned glasses (affiliate links).
Recommend bourbon: Old Overholt or Bulleit bourbon.
Looks so refreshing and delicious!
The color looks so summer! They must be perfect for a chill day.
I hope we can be flexible to change bourbon into other kinds like volka, gin…
Enjoy! Let me know what you think when you try it, Natalie.
These look delish!
Thank you! :)
These are perfect for summer!! I can just imagine sitting on the deck with the girls and drinking these – so refreshing!
Thank you for sharing xx
I agree! I love where you’re head is at, Marie. Thanks for your review!
They are delicious. I used water instead of alchol because i am only 10.
I’m glad you liked it with water! :)
Loved these— just my second try at making a julep and the best! Made these for a mint julep contest at a Derby party. Voted Best Traditional Julep— came in second place to a “cherry limeade julep” (?) made with mint, maraschino cherry syrup, bourbon, ice and a lime wedge. Not exactly sure that’s a julep…..
I love it! Thanks for sharing, Jean.
This is the bestmint julep I’ve ever made! Using real maple syrup was nothing short of brilliant! This is the only Mint Julep recipe I’ll ever make!
Love that, Louisa!