Fun Twists on the Mint Julep

Hello Iowa

Mixologist Karli Sandos shares how to make a mint julep and a few fun twists on the classic Kentucky Derby Cocktail.

Mint Julep

5 mint leaves plus a sprig for garnish

1/4 + 1/2 oz mint simple syrup *

2 oz Barrel Strength Bourbon of choice


In a julep cup, muddle mint and 1/4 oz of syrup, packing mint up sides of glass. Fill with ice, add bourbon and remaining syrup, garnish with mint sprig.

Mint Simple Syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

Approx. 2-3 sprigs of mint plus stems

In a small pan, bring 2 cups water to a rolling boil. Dissolve sugar into water and place in a blender

Add mint, stir for 10 seconds, then immediately strain mint out and place in a blender with room temperature syrup. Blitz five times and fine strain.

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Spirit Flavored Julep

5 mint leaves plus a sprig for garnish

1/4 oz + 1/2 oz flavored liqueur

2 oz Barrel Strength Bourbon of choice

In a julep cup, muddle mint and 1/4 oz of liqueur, packing mint up sides of glass. Fill with ice, add bourbon and remaining liqueur, garnish with mint sprig.

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Vermouth Julep

5 mint leaves plus a sprig for garnish

2 grapefruit wheels

1/2 oz mint simple syrup *

2 oz Vermouth of choice

In a julep cup, muddle one grapefruit slice, mint and 1/4 oz of syrup, packing mint up sides of glass. Place remaining grapefruit slice around the inner edge of the rim, fill with ice, add vermouth and garnish with a mint sprig.

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NonAlcoholic Julep

5 mint leaves plus a sprig for garnish

1/4 + 1/2 oz mint simple syrup *

2 oz Peach Ginger Concentrate

In a julep cup, muddle mint and 1/4 oz of syrup, packing mint up sides of glass. Fill with ice, add stock and remaining syrup, garnish with mint sprig.

Peach Ginger Concentrate

2 inches ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

2 cups water

6 peach tea bags

In a medium pot, bring ginger and water to a rolling boil then reduce heat to medium for 8 minutes. Place tea bags in a heatsafe container and cover with ginger and water to steep for 5 minutes before straining and cooling.

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