The Mint Julep: A Kentucky Derby® Icon

Posted by Kristen Doolan on Mon, Apr 17, 2017

The Mint Julep is more than just a drink, it’s an icon of the Kentucky Derby®. A tradition dating back nearly a century, the Mint Julep has been the popular beverage at Churchill Downs® for years. According to over 120,000 Mint Juleps are served each year over both Oaks and Derby days. This means that the Mint Julep alone requires 10,000 bottles of Old Forester Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, 1,000 pounds of mint and 60,000 pounds of ice. While we are sure you and many guests at Churchill Downs® will be enjoying a nice Mint Julep, here are some other Mint Julep inspired items to get you ready to head to Louisville in just a couple of weeks!

Peach Tea Mint Julep

By Molly at

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 mint leaves
  • 3 cups Snapple Peach Tea
  • ¾ cup bourbon
  • Lemon slices, for garnish
  • Mint sprigs, for garnish
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring water, sugar, mint leaves and peach tea to a boil until sugar dissolves, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and refrigerate to cool down until ready to serve.
  2. Add bourbon to peach tea simple syrup and mix well. Pour into glasses over crushed ice and garnish with lemon and mint.

Mint Julep Cupcakes

By April at

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted sweet cream butter
  • 2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp mint extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup bourbon

Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 cup unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
  • 4 cup powder sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp mint
  • 2 tbsp bourbon
  • 2 – 4 tbsp heaving whipping cream

Cupcake Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line cupcake tins with liners.
  2. In a small bowl, combine salt, baking powder, and 1 ¾ cups of the flour.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, eggs and extracts in until creamy. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until just combined.
  4. Add the milk and bourbon to the batter, and then the remaining flour.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes.
  6. One cool, pick the cupcakes with a fork and then using a brush, brush the tops with the bourbon

Frosting Directions

  1. Add all ingredients into a standing mixer and mix until stiff peaks form – If to powdery, add in another tbs of heaving whipping cream.
  2. Once stiff, fill pipping bag with frosting and pipe onto cupcakes.

Mint Julep Cake

By The Spruce at

Cake Ingredients

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature

Bourbon Butter Sauce ingredients

  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3 tbsp water

Mint Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 cup white chips
  • 7 ounces sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
  • 1 tsp white crème de menthe liqueur or ½ tsp mint extract

Cake Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees & grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
  3. In a separate larger bowl, combine sugar, buttermilk, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Beat at low speed for 1 minute, then increase to medium speed for 1 more minute, until combined. Pour into prepared pan and smoothly evenly around bundt center.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Bourbon Butter Sauce Directions

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, 1/3 cup butter, and 2 tbsp water. Stir until melted and combined. Do not boil. Remove from heat, continuing to stir for 2 minutes. Then stir in bourbon.
  2. When cake is done and still warm from the oven, use a skewer to poke holes around the top of the cake. Let cake cool to room temperature in the pan before removing to cake platter.

Mint Frosting Directions

  1. Melt chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk in heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until chips are melted.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in crème de menthe liqueur and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes until barely warm to the touch.
  3. Then spread evenly over the cooled cake & garnish with fresh mint leaves,
  4. Chill to in refrigerator to set – let it sit in room temperature 20 minutes before serving.

Come Enjoy at Mint Julep at the 2017 Kentucky Derby®!

Time is running out to secure your access to Churchill Downs® for the 143rd Kentucky Derby®. With Derby Experiences, you can choose your first-hand access to both Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby® days. Don’t miss your chance to witness “The Most Exciting Two Minutes of Sport!”


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