3 ratings

Derby Julep Recipe

Staff Writer
Southern Living Feel Good Food, Oxmoor House 2013

What's more classic to celebrate the Kentucky Derby than wearing a fancy hat with a mint julep in hand?

Southern Living's new cookbook Feel Good Food has a great festive way to gather on Derby Day — set up a mint julep bar with assorted flavored syrups like Grapefruit-Honey and Peach-Basil.

Ready in
5 min., not including syrup
Deliver Ingredients


  • 3 to 5 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons desired julep syrup
  • crushed ice
  • 1/4 Cup bourbon
  • 1 fresh mint sprig


Place mint leaves and syrup in a chilled julep cup, and muddle. Pack cup tightly with crushed ice; add bourbon and mint sprig.

Julep Syrups

Mint Syrup: Boil 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; add 15 fresh mint sprigs, and cool completely. Cover and chill 24 hours. Strain syrup; discard solids.

Grapefruit-Honey Syrup: Prepare Mint Syrup as directed, reducing sugar to ½ cup and stir in ¾  cup fresh grapefruit juice, 1 cup honey, 3 (2-inch-by-4-inch) grapefruit rind strips, and rind from 1 lime, cut into strips, add into sugar mixture with mint. For julep, muddle with 1 small grapefruit rind strip.

Peach-Basil Syrup: Prepare Mint Syrup as directed, substituting basil for mint and stirring 2 (5.5-ounce) cans peach nectar and 1 split vanilla bean into sugar mixture with basil. For julep, muddle with 1 peach slice.

Blackberry Syrup: Prepare Mint Syrup as directed, adding 6 ounces fresh blackberries, halved, with mint. For julep, muddle with 2 fresh blackberries.

Pineapple-Lemongrass Syrup: Prepare Mint Syrup as directed, reducing granulated sugar to 1 cup, adding 1 cup light brown sugar to granulated sugar and water, and stir in 1 cup pineapple juice, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, and 3 (3-inch) pieces fresh lemongrass into sugar mixture with mint after removing from heat. For julep, muddle with 1 small fresh pineapple chunk.

Recipe Shopping Tip

For healthy recipes, choose raw fruits, vegetables, and meats, and unprocessed foods.

Recipe Cooking Tip

For healthy recipes, substitute butter for olive oil, and bake, broil, or grill instead of fry.