If you want to taste an authentic Kentucky Derby mint julep, you need to start with the same ingredients used at Churchill Downs. For the past 18 years, the main ingredient of the official mint julep has been Early Times Kentucky Bourbon.
Fun Facts – During the two days that make up the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs will serve more than 120,000 Early Times Mint Juleps. The track consumes more than 1,000 pounds of fresh mint, more than 60,000 pounds of ice, and upwards of 10,000 bottles of Early Times Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve cocktail mix.
Official Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Recipe
2 Cups Sugar
2 Cups Water
Sprigs of Fresh Mint
Early Times Kentucky Whiskey
Silver Julep Cups
Start by making a simple syrup as a base by boiling the sugar and water together for 5 minutes. Let the syrup cool and place in a covered container with 6-8 sprigs of fresh mint. Refrigerate the mixture overnight. This mint syrup will be the base flavor for your Kentucky Derby Mint Julep.
Fill your julep cups with crushed ice. Spoon one tablespoon of mint syrup to the ice, then pour in a two-ounce shot of Early Times Kentucky Bourbon. Stir rapidly to mix the ingredients and frost the outside of the julep cup, then garnish with a sprig of mint.
Kentucky Derby: Mint Julep