For me, one of the most exciting aspects of the Kentucky Derby is the traditional drink of the derby, the Mint Julep! This is MY South Jersey version of the classic Southern drink that I've been making for years.

I come from the South, so I know my way around a mint julep. This is my own variation of the traditional Mint Julep that is served each year at the Kentucky Derby.

The ingredients are simple, but getting the right mixture and combination of the ingredients is the key.

Mike's South Jersey Julep

What you need:

  • Bourbon  (not just any whiskey will do - it must be Kentucky Bourbon)
  • Fresh Mint Leaves
  • Simple Syrup (I use 1/2 part regular sugar and 1/2 part brown sugar mix with equal amount water and boil until sugar is dissolved)
  • Bitters

NERD ALERT: I serve my juleps in an official sterling silver julep cup that I got from CHURCHILL DOWNS, home of the Kentucky Derby. Actually any proper glass or metal cup will do. I try to stay away from plastic cups.

Single serving:

Mull (crush) 3 or 4 mints leaves in the bottom of the cup, until you can really smell the mint.

Fill cup half way with cubed or crushed ice.

Pour 2 jigs of bourbon, 1/2 jig of simple syrup (1 jig if you like it sweeter), 1/2 jig of water and 2 dashes of bitters into a shaker and shake well.

Pour over ice into the cup and add a fresh sprig of mint to top it off! You should be rollin' pretty good off of 2 of these bad boys.


PARTY BATCH: Enough to get about 6 adults hammered!

Combine 32 oz (1 liter) of bourbon...8 oz (1 cup) of simple syrup...and 4 oz of water into a pitcher, and chill.  Then, for each serving, just mull the mint in your cup and pour over ice and add a single dash of bitters.


Let me know what you think of my recipe. Email me at


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