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Easy Mint Julep with Mint Simple Syrup

5 stars (4 ratings)

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This easy mint julep made with mint-infused simple syrup is the perfect way to whip up mint juleps for a crowd. These handcrafted cocktails mix up in about 3 minutes and pack a powerful bourbon punch with a sweet hint of mint. A deliciously refreshing cocktail perfect for a hot summer day.

An easy mint julep in a silver julep cup in front of the set up for a Kentucky Derby mint julep bar.

A Simple Mint Julep

If you are a seasoned mint julep drinker, the first thing you’ll notice about this version of the mint julep is that, well, I’m cheating. It’s true. This is not a classic mint julep. It isn’t muddled, and it doesn’t rely on granulated sugar to draw out the natural oils in the mint leaves, giving the cocktail that classic minty flavor.

Instead, this version relies on creating a mint simple syrup to both sweeten our juleps and give them their signature minty twist. This version of the mint julep was designed with Kentucky Derby parties in mind. Instead of needing to measure, muddle, and stir to get the right balance of flavor, this simple mint julep only requires you to add three ingredients to a glass and off you go to the (horse) races.

This mint julep has the same bracingly strong bourbon kick and the same refreshing minty flavor, but it also creates a bit less mess at your DIY cocktail bar. Set it up next to a pitcher of raspberry mojitos and a few buckets of beer and you are set for a party.

Simple Syrup Mint Julep Ingredients

This simple syrup mint julep is a three-ingredient cocktail that comes together in about 3 minutes. The mint simple syrup should be made in advance and chilled. See the recipe card below for exact measurements for both the cocktail and the simple syrup.

A mint julep in a silver mint julep cup in front of a silver platter holding mint julep supplies.
Ingredients for an easy mint julep with simple syrup: bourbon, crushed ice, mint simple syrup, and optional mint garnish.

Recommended Bar Tools

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  • Mint julep cups – If you don’t have classic silver julep cups, use highball glasses that hold 8-12 ounces.
  • Straws – Compostable straws or stir sticks for mixing drinks.
  • A Jigger or measuring cup – To measure the bourbon in 2 ounces or ¼ cup measures.
  • Measuring spoon – A 2-teaspoon measuring spoon for the simple syrup.
  • Ice bucket with scoop or tongs – To keep the ice cold.

How To Make Mint Simple Syrup

Simple syrup is a common ingredient in cocktails and can easily be made at home. A plain version is made with just sugar and water, but you will also find recipes for options like lime simple syrup or other flavors. At a minimum, start the mint simple syrup an hour ahead of time so that it has time to cool down. If you are planning ahead, make it the day before and store it in an airtight container in the fridge.

The ingredients for mint simple syrup: mint, sugar, and water.
Ingredients for mint simple syrup: water, white granulated sugar, fresh mint sprigs.

In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and mint leaves. Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer for three minutes. Let the simple syrup sit and cool for 20 minutes, which gives time for the mint oils to be extracted. Strain the syrup into a clean, resealable container. Discard the solids and refrigerate the simple syrup until chilled.

How To Make Crushed Ice

Crushed ice is the key to making a great mint julep cocktail, and making crushed ice at home is easy. Some refrigerator ice machines will dispense crushed ice. Alternatively, food processors and high-powered blenders make crushing ice a breeze. If you don’t have either of these options, you can use plastic bags wrapped in kitchen towels and a wooden mallet to crush your ice. 

Crushed ice in a double lined plastic bag.

Whatever method you choose, crush it in advance and promptly return it to the freezer. It may solidify a bit, but it should break up again easily. Just bang it against the counter or other hard surfaces like a bag of store-bought ice.

How To Make a Mint Julep Cocktail

Now that we have our simple syrup and crushed ice, making a mint julep cocktail is easy! I do recommend measuring out the bourbon and simple syrup on the first couple of juleps that you make, just to get an eye for the volume.

  • Combine mint simple syrup, bourbon, and ice in a mint julep cup or highball glass.
  • Briskly stir until the glass is cold and condensation begins to form on the outside.
  • Top with more crushed ice and a sprig of mint. Serve immediately.
A finished mint julep in front of a silver tray set up with all you need to make a Kentucky Derby mint julep bar.

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An easy mint julep in a silver julep cup in front of the set up for a Kentucky Derby mint julep bar.

Easy Mint Julep with Mint Simple Syrup

This easy mint julep made with mint-infused simple syrup is the perfect way to whip up mint juleps for a crowd. These handcrafted cocktails mix up in about 3 minutes and pack a powerful bourbon punch with a sweet hint of mint. A deliciously refreshing cocktail perfect for a hot summer day.
5 stars (4 ratings)
prep: 3 minutes
Simple Syrup Time: 1 hour
total: 1 hour 3 minutes
servings: 1 cocktail

Ingredients

Mint Simple Syrup – Yield 1 1/2 Cups

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 sprigs fresh mint

The Mint Julep

  • 2 teaspoons mint simple syrup
  • 2 ounces Kentucky bourbon
  • crushed ice
  • sprig of mint

Instructions

The Mint Simple Syrup

  • **The simple syrup needs to be made at least an hour in advance so that it has time to cool.**
  • Combine sugar water, and 3 sprigs of mint in a small saucepan.
  • Cover and heat to a boil over high heat. Drop the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to steep for 20 minutes while it cools.
  • Strain the syrup into a resealable container, discarding the mint solids. Refrigerate the simple syrup for at least 30 minutes to cool completely before use.

To Assemble an Easy Mint Julep

  • Combine mint simple syrup, bourbon, and ice in a mint julep cup or highball glass.
  • Briskly stir until glass is cold and condensation begins to form on the outside.
  • Top with more ice and a sprig of mint. Serve immediately.

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Nutrition

Serving: 8ouncesCalories: 161kcalCarbohydrates: 8gSodium: 2mgSugar: 8g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is for general information purposes only. For the most accurate information, calculate using your select brands and exact measurements.

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About Renee N Gardner

I'm the recipe developer, food photographer, and mastermind behind Renee Nicole's Kitchen, where I help create kitchen confidence to inspire home cooks to become home chefs. No fancy fads here, just high-quality, homemade recipes featuring seasonal ingredients.

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