With the Kentucky Derby fast approaching, Mint Julep season is just around the corner. These gorgeous, bourbon based drinks are heavily associated with the once a year horse racing event, as well as with southern cuisine as a whole. While they may look fancy and intricate, Mint Juleps are actually quite simple to make. In fact, the cocktail consists of only four simple ingredients; bourbon, Simple Syrup, mint, and crushed ice.

In the past, Mint Juleps were served in those snazzy silver cups, held only by the top or bottom edges of the vessel. This was simply to allow frost to appear on the outside of the cup, keeping the cocktail chilled. Nowadays, the drink is often presented in highball glasses with straws. Our advice is, whatever glass you have works. It’s all about the cocktail after all, right?

Making Mint Juleps are much less intimidating than you’d think. All you need is the four basic ingredients and you’re all set. Simply muddle mint into your glass of choice, add bourbon and simple syrup, and fill the remainder of the glass with crushed ice. Garnish with fresh mint leaves (true southerners use spearmint!) and you’ll be Derby ready in no time. Eccentric oversized hats optional.

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Click here for the Easiest Mint Julep Recipe!