The Mint Julep For The Kentucky Derby

Updated: April 30, 2015
Derby 3

Need a little help getting your Derby Juleps going? BLS Renaissance-Man Mark, mixologist at Michael White’s two Michelin starred, Central Park South hotspot MAREA, is just the man to put you through your race day paces and dial in your Mint Julep. This specific drink is an integral part of Kentucky Derby lore and tradition, and no one knows how to mix one better than our NYC-credentialed barman. Your guests may not be at Churchill Downs when that trumpet sounds for post time, but as long as they have one of our man Mark’s cocktails, they will feel like they’re right at (My Old Kentucky) Home…



  • First make a mint simple syrup by combining equal parts sugar and boiling water then adding lots of mint leaves (around 20 or so). Stir to dissolve the sugar and mix the mint leaves in. Let the syrup steep until its cooled then place in the fridge overnight.
  • Fill a julep cup with crushed ice then add 1/2 oz of mint simple syrup and 2 oz of bourbon.
  • Stir to mix and garnish with a mint sprig and you’re good to go.


There are plenty of variations to this drink that you can try out as well.

A few that I’ve done:

The Basil Julep, The Honey Ginger Julep and The Champagne Julep.

  • For the basil julep you follow the same recipe as before only swapping basil for the mint when making your syrup.
  • To make honey ginger syrup add 3/4 a cup of honey, 1/2 cup of boiling water and 2 oz of fresh ginger juice. Stir until well mixed then follow the recipe above.
  • If you don’t plan on getting cooked as fast as those drinking the hard stuff, you can make a champagne julep. In a champagne flute add 1/2 oz of mint syrup, a few dashes of angostura bitters, and fill with champagne. Garnish with a mint sprig.







Enjoy the race and good luck with your ponies! CHEERS!