Brande Horwitz

Brande Horwitz

Published: 30 Sep 2023


The Mint Julep is a classic cocktail that has captured the hearts of many cocktail enthusiasts. It is a refreshing and delightful drink that is closely associated with the American South, particularly with the iconic Kentucky Derby. The Mint Julep has a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century, and it has remained a favorite choice of drink for generations.

In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of Mint Julep and uncover 17 astonishing facts about this beloved cocktail. From its origins and ingredients to its cultural significance and variations, prepare to be amazed by the intriguing details behind the Mint Julep. So sit back, relax, and join us on this journey as we explore the delightful and refreshing world of the Mint Julep.

Table of Contents

Mint Julep is a classic Southern cocktail.

You can’t talk about the South without mentioning the iconic Mint Julep. It has long been associated with Southern hospitality and is a staple at horse races, particularly the Kentucky Derby.

Mint Julep has a rich history.

Did you know that the Mint Julep has been around for over 200 years? It was first mentioned in print in 1803 and has since gained widespread popularity as a refreshing and aromatic cocktail.

The Mint Julep is traditionally made with bourbon.

While variations of the Mint Julep exist, the classic recipe calls for bourbon whiskey as the base. The combination of bourbon, fresh mint leaves, sugar, and crushed ice creates a delightful blend of flavors.

The Mint Julep is believed to have medicinal properties.

Back in the 19th century, the Mint Julep was often prescribed as a remedy for various ailments, including stomachaches and headaches. While we can’t vouch for its medicinal effectiveness, it’s certainly a tasty way to unwind and relax.

The Mint Julep is traditionally served in a silver or pewter cup.

To enhance the drinking experience, the Mint Julep is traditionally served in a frosty silver or pewter cup. The metal cup helps to keep the cocktail cold and adds a touch of elegance to the presentation.

Mint Juleps are best enjoyed on a hot summer day.

There’s nothing quite like sipping on a Mint Julep while basking in the sun on a sweltering summer day. The cocktail’s refreshing and cooling qualities make it the perfect beverage to beat the heat.

The Mint Julep requires muddling of fresh mint leaves.

One of the key steps in making a Mint Julep is muddling fresh mint leaves with sugar. This process releases the aromatic oils from the mint, infusing the cocktail with its distinctive flavor.

Mint Juleps are traditionally garnished with a mint sprig.

To add a touch of elegance and freshness, Mint Juleps are typically garnished with a mint sprig. The aromatic scent of the mint complements the flavors of the cocktail beautifully.

The Mint Julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby.

The Kentucky Derby, one of the most prestigious horse racing events, has adopted the Mint Julep as its official drink. It is estimated that over 120,000 Mint Juleps are consumed during the two-day race event.

Mint Juleps have become a symbol of Southern charm.

The Mint Julep is often associated with Southern hospitality and charm. It has become an integral part of Southern culture and is enjoyed at social gatherings, parties, and celebrations throughout the region.

The Mint Julep has inspired variations around the world.

While the classic Mint Julep recipe is widely loved, it has also inspired numerous variations around the globe. From fruity twists to herbal infusions, mixologists have embraced the Mint Julep’s versatility and created exciting adaptations.

The Mint Julep is a favorite cocktail during the summer racing season.

As horse racing is synonymous with the Mint Julep, it comes as no surprise that it is a beloved cocktail during the summer racing season. Whether you’re at the track or cheering from home, a Mint Julep adds a touch of tradition and elegance to the experience.

The Mint Julep is known for its smooth and refreshing taste.

With its combination of bourbon, mint, and sugar, the Mint Julep offers a smooth and refreshing taste that has captivated cocktail enthusiasts for centuries. It’s the perfect balance of sweetness and herbal notes.

The Mint Julep is often associated with the Old South.

The historical connection between the Mint Julep and the Old South has solidified its status as a symbol of Southern heritage and tradition. It serves as a reminder of a bygone era and the elegance of days gone by.

Mint Juleps are meant to be sipped slowly.

Part of the enjoyment of a Mint Julep is savoring each sip. The cocktail is best consumed slowly, allowing the flavors to linger on the palate and the coolness to refresh the senses.

Mint Juleps have made appearances in literature and film.

The Mint Julep’s cultural significance extends beyond the cocktail glass. It has made appearances in various works of literature, such as “The Great Gatsby,” and in films like “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” These references have further cemented its place in popular culture.

Mint Juleps are a great addition to any cocktail party.

Whether you’re hosting a Kentucky Derby-themed gathering or simply want to impress your guests, serving Mint Juleps at a cocktail party is sure to be a hit. Its classic appeal and refreshing taste make it a crowd-pleaser.


In conclusion, the mint julep is a truly remarkable drink with a rich history and a refreshing taste. From its origins as a medicinal elixir to its prominence as a beloved cocktail, the mint julep has become synonymous with the southern charm of the Kentucky Derby. Whether you’re sipping on a classic mint julep or trying out a unique twist on the recipe, it’s undeniable that this iconic drink is a true delight for the senses. So, the next time you find yourself in need of a sophisticated and refreshing beverage, don’t hesitate to reach for a mint julep. Cheers!


Q: What is a mint julep?

A: A mint julep is a cocktail made with bourbon, sugar, water, and fresh mint leaves. It is typically served over crushed ice in a silver or pewter cup, garnished with a sprig of mint.

Q: When is the mint julep most popular?

A: The mint julep is most popular during the Kentucky Derby, which takes place on the first Saturday in May. It has become the signature drink of the event, with over 120,000 mint juleps served each year.

Q: What is the history of the mint julep?

A: The mint julep has a long history, dating back to the 18th century. It was originally used as a medicinal tonic, believed to have cooling properties. Over time, it evolved into a popular cocktail in the southern United States.

Q: Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the mint julep?

A: Yes, you can make a non-alcoholic version of the mint julep by substituting the bourbon with a non-alcoholic bourbon alternative or leaving it out altogether. The drink will still have the refreshing taste of the mint and sweetness from the sugar.

Q: Are there any variations of the mint julep?

A: Yes, there are several variations of the mint julep. Some popular variations include adding fruit flavors such as peach or strawberry, or even incorporating different spirits like rum or tequila instead of bourbon.

Q: Can I use any type of mint for a mint julep?

A: While spearmint is the traditional choice for a mint julep, you can experiment with other types of mint such as peppermint or chocolate mint to give your drink a unique twist.