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Old Forester Mint Julep Recipe – The Official Kentucky Derby Drink

Old Forester Mint Julep Recipe

The month of May brings many exciting events and days for celebration. May Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Graduations and several other special days are all causes for friends and family to get together.

mint julep

Classic Old Forester Mint Juleps served in silver cups.

But one of my most favorite events in May falls on the first Saturday of the month, Kentucky Derby Day!

It is known as the most exciting 2 minutes in sports and is the longest running sporting event in the United States, dating back to 1875.

It is a true celebration of southern culture. The women get dressed up in pastel spring dresses while donning a Southern-Belle inspired, wide-brimmed hat.

And over the past several years, the men have also began to wear bright-colored attire with wild plaid prints. Add in a bow-tie and a fedora or bowler hat and the outfit is complete.

mint julep

A classic Kentucky Derby hat inspired by Southern-Belle attire.

But the one thing that is a MUST for everyone who attends, or watches the Kentucky Derby, is a Mint Julep!

This is the official drink of Churchill Downs and has been served at the Derby since 1930. Over 120,000 Mint Juleps will be served over the 2 day span of the Derby and Oaks weekend.

That requires over 10,000 bottles of ready-to-serve Old Forester Mint Julep Cocktails will be consumed and 4,000 pounds of fresh mint will be used.

Now that is a popular drink!

However, if you aren’t able to attend the actual event, you can still make your own official Mint Julep drink at home!

The most important thing to remember, is to prepare the simple syrup mixture at least 24 hours in advance. This gives time for the mint to break down and give the syrup the iconic mint flavor!

mint julep

Make your mint simple syrup at least 24 hours before you make your Mint Julep drinks.

You can use any cocktail glass to make your drink. Although, if you want to be ultra official, a silver or pewter julep cup is a must!

The silver cups become ultra cold, forming frost on the outside of the cup when stirred. There is nothing better than an ice-cold Mint Julep on a hot day!

So this year, as you are watching The Run For The Roses race, pour yourself a Mint Julep and cheer on your favorite 3-year-old Thoroughbred horse!

Check our another one of our favorite drinks – Yellow Finch Frozen Cocktail. 

Check out the printable recipe below and all of our recipes and let me know what you think!

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Old Forester Mint Julep Recipe

mint julep

The official drink of the Kentucky Derby - made with Old Forester Kentucky Bourbon Whisky


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Sprigs of fresh mint
  • Crushed ice
  • Old Forester Straight Bourbon Whisky


The night before you want to drink Mint Juleps

  1. In a medium sauce pan, add the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Remove from heat and cool.
  3. Place the simple syrup mixture in a covered container and add eight sprigs of fresh mint. Refrigerate overnight.

Make one julep at a time

  1. Fill a small cup with crushed ice, one tablespoon mint simple syrup and two ounces of Old Forester Straight Bourbon Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon.
  2. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.


Recipe provided by Make Your Meals

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
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