Camille Styles

Bottoms Up :: Classic Kentucky Mint Julep

May 1st, 2013

Classic Mint Julep Recipe | Camille Styles

Jenn here, gearing up for “the most exciting two minutes in sports” this coming weekend! Yes, it’s that time of year again — when ladies and gentlemen gather at Churchill Downs to place their bets on the finest horses in the country. I still haven’t been to the Kentucky Derby (definitely on my “bucket list”), but I usually manage to put on a great hat and find a fun party to attend here in town. Turns out that one of the best Derby Day traditions is one you can stir up for yourself right at home: the classic Kentucky mint julep. Traditionally served in a chilled silver cup, this simple bourbon cocktail packs a lot of punch. This bold and refreshing drink got me thinking about the winning horse from last year… his name was “I’ll Have Another.” We recommend going heavy on the crushed ice, which will slightly dilute the drink as it melts.

Classic Mint Julep Recipe | Camille StylesClassic Mint Julep Recipe | Camille StylesClassic Mint Julep Recipe | Camille StylesClassic Mint Julep Recipe | Camille Styles

Classic Kentucky Mint Julep


  • 2.5 ounces bourbon
  • 25–30 mint leaves
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • ice cubes
  • crushed ice

For the mint simple syrup:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 large bunch mint leaves


1. First, you’ll make the simple syrup. Combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Place the bunch of mint leaves in an old mason jar (or other heatproof container) and pour the syrup over the leaves. Place the jar in the fridge and let the leaves steep in the syrup for at least one hour. Strain the leaves from the liquid and set the syrup aside.

2. Place your 25–30 mint leaves in a cocktail shaker and pour in the 2.5 ounces of bourbon as well as one ounce of your simple syrup. Top with a few ice cubes and stir. Fill your chilled silver cup with ice about halfway. Strain the liquid from the cocktail shaker into the cup. Pack crushed iced on top of the liquid to the top of the glass. Garnish the drink with a sprig of mint leaves and a straw.

3. Place your bets!

*This recipe was inspired by “Mint Juleps” via The Crepes of Wrath and “Stir Up a Classic Mint Julep” via Southern Living.

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  1. That looks so good! Beautiful styling, too!

  2. thejunkdrunk says:

    Looks delicious! I’ll be stirring some up as well with my mint and blackberry infused bourbon that’s soaking away in my fridge.
    Bourbon infused with blackberries and mint

    • Jennifer Rose Smith says:

      Oh wow. That looks heavenly. Thanks for sharing your recipe — I’ll have to try that out soon!

  3. oh this looks delicious! thanks for this recipe. this is the first time since high school that i won’t be at the derby so i’ll have to whip some of these up to make me feel a home 🙂

  4. I made Julep’s the other week after my first trip to the horse tracks. Though we went to Southern California’s Santa Anita Park and not Churchill Downs it was still such a treat! I’ve left links to both posts if you’re interested.


    • Jennifer Rose Smith says:

      Love your photos, Ashley! Thanks so much for sharing. Great hat, and Santa Anita’s Park looks fabulous! I’ll have to give your recipe a try as well. I’m interested in trying a version of this drink that includes powdered sugar.

  5. Zoë says:

    I’ve never had a mint julep but I think you’ve sold me and I’ll have to whip some up this weekend! Sounds like the most perfect hot weather drink 🙂

  6. Those look yummy! I have to say, I do love this time of year. It’s a fun 2 minutes!

    • Jennifer Rose Smith says:

      So much fun! I always bet on the horse with the best name. This year it’s “Fear the Kitten”! Go, Kitten, Go!

  7. angelica says:

    Where are the mint julep cups from?

  8. […]  If you’re looking to tuck into a thirst quenching mint julep for this Kentucky Derby weekend look no further! The most classic of recipes is as simple as can be thanks to Jenn at Camille Styles. […]

  9. diane smith says:

    I will have to try your recipe. Surely looks refreshing! I especially liked the straws…where
    can you find them? D

  10. Violet says:

    By the way, the mint syrup is delicious in iced tea. I keep a big pot of mint on my patio so that I can have mint syrup in the fridge at all times!

    • Jennifer Rose Smith says:

      Mmm! Sounds divine… Good idea. Thanks for sharing! I’ll have to try that this summer.

  11. […] The Kentucky Derby is all about the big hats, floral prints, and spring fabrics like seersucker.  Here are some floral dresses to get you ready for the races, or even if you are just attending a Kentucky Derby themed party. Staying in? Treat yourself to classic Kentucky Derby drink, the Mint Julep. […]

  12. Where did you get those glasses/goblets/silvercups?! What would you call them? hahah

  13. This looks incredible! And love your photography. Saving this and making this weekend! Happy to have found your blog from Bubbly In Brooklyn!

  14. […] Derby weekend look no further! The most classic of recipes is as simple as can be thanks to Jenn at Camille Styles.25–30 mint leaves + 2.5 ounces of bourbon + 1 ounce of  simple syrup + ice + one big […]

  15. […] tablescape | string lights | flapper dress roast chicken | cake pop | mint julep […]

  16. […] by Katie Stoops via Southern Weddings; mint julep photo by Kate Headley; mint julep photo from Camille Styles; ham biscuit photo by Ali Harper; peony centerpiece photo by Picotte Photography via Style Me […]

  17. […] or Spring, even Summer! Don’t forget your mint juleps. There are many different takes on the mint julep and even non-alcoholic versions! Don’t want to drink? Use the julep cups for floral vessels! […]

  18. […] Style Unveiled | SMP: Flower Girl & Blooms | Camille Styles | Ruffled | Simply […]

  19. […] Floral Centerpiece: Rue Mag | Invitation: Paper Culture | Tulle skirt: The Girls of Lincoln Park | Floral Bridal Shower Cake: Pinterest | Green Skater Dress: Asos | Mint Julep: Camille Styles […]

  20. Morten William James says:

    Fantastic pictures, and the recipe is very good as well, though I find the amount of sugar a little too high. I would usually go for just half an ounce of sugar syrup since the crushed ice already helps sweetening the bourbon simply by diluting it!

  21. […] Classic Kentucky Mint Julep Pitcher Perfect Sweet Tea Lillet Rose Spring Cocktail Pimms Cocktail The Wild Ruffian […]

  22. […] here for the complete recipe from Camille […]

  23. […] Camille Styles/ Real Simple/ Inside Columbia Magazine/ The Invitation Shop/ Kraft Recipes/ PR Newswire/ The Kentucky Derby/ Hen House Linens/ Greenbriar/ Chopped Ginger […]

  24. […] (Recipe and Image from here.) […]

  25. […] 2. Celebrate. May 3rd is the Kentucky Derby, master the mint julep! […]

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  27. […] Summer has been slipping away just as quickly as it showed up and I’ve been trying to soak up every last minute of it. Making and trying out the classic Southern summer cocktail, the mint julep, has been on my list ever since the Deighton Cup, so I decided to call on my inner bartender and give it a shot (oh, I love puns). I invited some friends over to taste test and started mixing things up. It was my first time making any kind of cocktail (I usually stick to sangria or wine) and it was really fun. I did a homemade mint syrup (it’s much easier than I thought) and though the famed cocktail isn’t going to be a regular at our bar cart (was a little too strong for me) it is definitely a must try.  […]

  28. Thank you so much for your post! I was able to use one of your images in my inspiration today and hope you enjoy the post as much as I do! I always love a good min julep and can’t wait to try my hand at this recipe!

    xo Christina

  29. Debbie says:

    How many does this recipe serve?

  30. Courtney says:

    What a classy presentation! May I ask where you got the silver cups and tray?

  31. Lauren says:

    Hi! Im a wedding planner in California and I would love to use one of these images for the wedding blog that I write. Would that be alright with you? I’ll include the direct link to this page underneath the photo : )

    • Jennifer Rose Smith says:

      Hi Lauren! And thank you for asking — yes, we would be honored for you to include our image on your site. Please be sure and include a link to underneath the photo to direct readers to the full recipe! Cheers, jenn

  32. […] Mint Julep: You can’t have a derby party without the Mint Julep. This drink dates back to the eighteenth century and has been a staple at Churchill Downs since 1938. We love this classic recipe from Camille Styles, which can be found HERE. […]

  33. […] are a must for a race day hen! Start off your celebrations with something refreshing like a Mint Julep or the classic Pimm’s Cup. Of course, if these flavours don’t tickle your tastebuds a […]

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