Ever been desperately hoping for a refreshing bourbon cocktail but frustrated that it was hard to find a good enough excuse? Thankfully, for those moments, National Mint Julep Day is here to pander to those wildest fantasies… just as long as those fantasies involved sipping this classic cocktail.
Created just for this occasion, it’s worth celebrating the Mint Julep just about any time of the year, but especially on National Mint Julep Day!
History of National Mint Julep Day
Mint Julep, a delicious and refreshing alcoholic beverage made with bourbon, originates in the southern regions of the United States and still counts this area as its heartland. This sentiment is especially true of Kentucky, where the annual Kentucky Derby horse race sees around 120,000 of these tasty beverages served each year.
At these high end events, tradition dictates that premium versions of the drink are served in gold-plated cups with silver straws at a cost of $1000. But, of course, it isn’t necessary to spend quite that much as that in order to enjoy the day.
Making its first appearance in print in 1803, this distinctly American drink was written about by John Davis who noted that it was enjoyed in the morning. The “julep” part of the name is what identifies it as a drink that is served over crushed ice. Other versions of the julep drink can be made with cognac or peach brandy.
The ingredients of this drink are simple: bourbon, mint leaf, sugar and water. However, no two bartenders seem to make the drink in the same way, which is all the more reason to sample a few before this special day is over.
Celebrating National Mint Julep Day is the perfect occasion to learn about and enjoy such a tasty beverage!
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How to Celebrate National Mint Julep Day
Enjoy this day by drinking a Mint Julep with a friend or loved one, making them at home or grabbing one at a local bar. No matter how it is celebrated, Mint Julep can be loads of fun!
Learn How to Make a Mint Julep
This tasty cocktail doesn’t have many ingredients, so it’s fairly easy to make at home. Ingredients include Kentucky bourbon, sugar, fresh mint and crushed ice.
While julep drinks have their own traditional silver cup, it’s certainly just fine to serve it in a rocks glass as a substitute.
Make it by putting ¼ ounce of simple syrup into a glass and muddle 8 fresh mint leaves into it. Add a 2 ounce shot of high quality bourbon and pack the glass with crushed ice. Stir to make the cup frosty on the outside and then garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.
Explore Different Bourbons
Feeling more adventurous in making Mint Juleps? Try out a variety of bourbons to see which is the favorite. Consider some of these popular options:
- Four Roses Single Barrel. This straight bourbon uses a delicate fruit yeast strain and each batch varies slightly.
- Maker’s Mark Cask Strength. This blend offers a special collection of up to 19 different barrels, using red winter wheat and barley mash bill.
- Knob Creek 9 Year Single Barrel Reserve. Unblended and hand selected, this bourbon has a vanilla and spicy flavor blend, bottled at 120 proof.
Host National Mint Julep Day Party
Since the Kentucky Derby is usually on the first Saturday in May, it might be a bit too late to join in on the fun by drinking a Mint Julep there. However, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t a great day to gather a few friends or family members together to enjoy all of the good things about this refreshing cocktail!
Have friends bring various ingredients such as different types of bourbon, fresh mint sprigs, or extra rocks glasses. Be sure to have a blender ready to crush the ice if it doesn’t come pre-crushed.
For those who love the association, the Mint Julep has to the Kentucky Derby, the party can certainly be themed around wearing traditional garb, especially the pastel-colored summer dresses and fancy hats. National Mint Julep Day is a great reason to dress up and have fun!