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Traditional Mint Julep

This Traditional Mint Julep will have you kicking up your heels (er, um, make that, hooves) this Kentucky Derby Day, or any day for that matter. 

A vertical closeup photo of a Traditional Mint Julep in a sliver metal cup along with ice and fresh mint leaves.

I originally shared this recipe in 2015. I’ve recently updated this post with additional information, including a recipe card complete with nutritional information, but the recipe itself has remained unchanged.


**Please Note – The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making this Kentucky Bourbon Mint Julep is available at the end of this post. OR you can hit the “jump to recipe” button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.


A vertical collage image of how to make  a Traditional Mint Julep with a title text overlay graphic.

The ingredient list:

**Note – The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned

Kitchen tools and equipment needed:

Why this recipe works?

It’s the perfect drink for sipping while watching the Kentucky Derby, or it’s just right for a hot summer’s day in the shade of a big ol’ tree.

A Traditional Mint Julep is frosty, minty, sweet, and kicky with Jack Daniels Kentucky bourbon and a light splash of ginger-ale.

How to make this a non-traditional mint julep?

I used coconut palm sugar when making the simple syrup for this cocktail because palm sugar is a decent alternative when trying to lower your fructose consumption.

Why coconut palm sugar?

Since coconut palm sugar is higher in sucrose, it’s lower in fructose and glucose, making it a better option for people looking to control blood sugar spikes.

Unfortunately, coconut palm sugar has the same number of calories and carbs as regular granulated sugar, but your body absorbs coconut palm sugar differently, making it a slightly healthier option…especially if you’re going to have more than one of these! *raises hand*  

Of course, a granulated sugar simple syrup may be used in place of coconut palm sugar simple sugar. It’s all good, and it’s all tasty! 🙂

Just remember to always drink responsibly!!

How to make a simple syrup:

Whether you’re making a traditional simple syrup with granulated sugar and water or a non-traditional simple syrup with coconut palm sugar and water, the steps are the same.

In a small saucepan, bring equal parts of sugar and water to a simmer on the stovetop, stirring occasionally

Once all the sugar has dissolved, remove it from the heat and cool completely.

Store the simple syrup in the refrigerator in a jar with a tight-fitting lid for up to 4 weeks.

*Note – a coconut palm sugar simple syrup will be very dark in color (as shown in the photo below), whereas a granulated sugar simple syrup will be clear and uncolored.

A horizontal set up of the making of Traditional Mint Juleps along with metal cups, a mortar and pestle, and a bottle of Kentucky bourbon.

What is the purpose of a metal cocktail glass?

A metal glass will keep a drink icy cold for a longer period as metal is an excellent conductor of cold.

How many ounces is a standard shot glass?

A standard shot glass equals 1.5 ounces.

This recipe calls for 1 shot (1.5 ounces) of Kentucky bourbon, and one shot (1.5 ounces) of simple syrup.

Can this cocktail be made in a pitcher?

Sure thing.

This would be a wonderful cocktail to serve at a party, and making it in a pitcher would be very freeing.

Just make sure you have plenty of simple syrup and fresh mint on hand. Both can be kept in the fridge for several days prior to serving if you’re planning in advance.

Also, it would be fine to mix the simple syrup and the bourbon in advance of serving, but save the addition of the ginger ale until just before you’re ready to drink so it remains fizzy.

Additional cocktail recipes I think you’ll also enjoy:

*Pumpkin Spice Martini (shown below and featured in the video)

You’ll be pleasantly pleased after your first sip of Pumpkin Spice Martinis. After your second sip, you’ll be warm all over. You’re welcome!! 🙂 Always enjoy responsibly!

Two pumpkin spice martinis on a tray with pumpkins and leaves

*Blackberry Sangria Spritzer (not shown)

Easy blackberry sangria spritzer is light and refreshing. It’s the perfect thing to serve for a festive brunch or party because everyone adores it!!

*Frozen Mango Strawberry Margaritas (shown below)

Frozen Mango Strawberry Margaritas are the perfect way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (or any day for that matter), in a big way!

Two Frozen Strawberry Mango Margaritas in large cocktail glasses with mango, strawberry, and lime on skewers.

*Iced Coffee Margarita (not shown)

An Iced Coffee Margarita is coffee mixed with tequila, a twist of lemon, and served in a rimmed glass of ground coffee and sugar. Talk about a delicious eye-opener!

*Traditional Mint Julep (shown below) THIS IS THE PLACE!!

A vertical closeup of two glasses of Traditional Mint Juleps in metal glasses along with a title text overlay graphic.

Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today’s cocktail recipe for a Traditional Mint Julep.

If you’ve made this recipe, or are excited to make this recipe, I’d appreciate it if you’d take a moment to leave it a star rating in the recipe card, along with a comment if you’re so inclined. Thank you. 🙂


Renee – Kudos Kitchen
This Traditional Mint Julep is frosty, minty, sweet, and kicky with Jack Daniels Kentucky bourbon and a light splash of ginger-ale. It’s perfect for sipping and just right for a hot summer’s day.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course alchoholic beverage, cocktails
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 481 kcal


To make the simple syrup:

  • 1 cup filtered water
  • ½ cup coconut palm sugar or granulated sugar

To make the cocktail:

  • 1.5 ounces Kentucky Bourbon
  • 1.5 ounces simple syrup
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves muddled (crushed) into a chunky paste (or to taste)
  • crushed ice
  • ginger ale
  • Fresh mint leaves for garnish


To make the simple syrup:

  • -Bring the water and sugar to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook and stir until the liquid reduces and thickens slightly (approximately 3-4 minutes). Cool completely.

To make the cocktail:

  • -Add the first four ingredients into a cocktail glass. Top with ginger ale and stir to combine. Garnish with fresh mint leaves if desired.


Serving: 1cocktailCalories: 481kcalCarbohydrates: 102gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 197mgPotassium: 92mgFiber: 1gSugar: 83gVitamin A: 478IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Mint Julep, Mint Julep with coconut palm sugar, Traditional Mint Julep
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Thank you so much for visiting me here today in my Kudos Kitchen!

I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed today’s easy bourbon cocktail recipe for Mint Juleps as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing it to you!

A horizontal photo of the inside of a metal glass cocktail glass filled with a Traditional Mint Julep with crushed ice and fresh mint.

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Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!

Kudos Kitchen by Renee Signature

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