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Mint Juleps

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By Cynthia Peters

Serving Size:  8

Class:    Easy (under 1 Hour)

This recipe comes from Gremolata’s “County Girl” Cynthia Peters.  First published in 1803, mint juleps were believed to be invented in Virginia. The name was created with word julep, which generally means  “sweet drink” derived from the Persian and Arabic language.

Mint Juleps were first made in the Southern States with whisky, rum or gin flavored with mint, sugar and lots of crushed ice.  They made their way westward in 1816 to Kentucky where they became popular and synonymous with horse racing. Mint Julep cups became the trophy of choice among the Commonwealth horse racing at the time. Traditionally, the drinks were served in silver or pewter cups.  Bourbon replaced the other liquors in this drink, as many of the Kentucky farmers owned stills and made a rustic corn whisky (now called Bourbon).


2 Cups Filtered Water

2 Cups of White Sugar

1/2 Cup of Fresh Mint (roughly chopped)

32 Ounces of Kentucky bourbon

8 Sprigs of Fresh Mint Leaves (for garnish)


Combine the water, sugar and chopped mint leaves in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat until the sugar completely dissolves.  Remove from heat and allow the syrup to cool, approximately 1 hour.  When cooled, pour the syrup through a strainer to remove mint leaves and set aside.

Fill eight glasses with crushed ice and pour 4 Ounces of bourbon and ¼ Cup mint syrup in each.  Top each glass with a mint sprig and serve.

Cook Smart Tip:

Serving several guests?  Why not create a pitcher of mint juleps for your guests and allow them to make their own on the veranda.  Simply multiply the measurements by the number of guests and serve in a large pitcher with glasses and a bowl of extra mint – should your guests wish to add more garnish themselves.  The smell is truly refreshing!



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