The Classic Mint Julep
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mint julep

photo credit: O Magazine 

I don’t have to go far to get back in touch with my Southern roots. Many of my friends in Los Angeles are actually from there! It’s definitely a comfort. If you didn’t catch my Southern #GIRLSQUAD in the recent issue of O! Magazine for Draper James (www.draperjames.com), check it out here. It was such a fun day filled with fried chicken, pecan pie, and my absolute favorite—mint juleps!

draper james

photo credit: O Magazine 

Even though the Kentucky Derby has passed, it doesn’t mean we still can’t enjoy them! Like a good pecan pie recipe, the classic mint julep is just as much tradition as it is delicious.

I’m all about my “skinny” cocktails but surprisingly this classic recipe can’t get much skinnier. It’s that fresh! But I’ll warn you—it has a kick even the men in your life will enjoy. Us Southerners know how to make a cocktail! The mixture of fresh mint, Kentucky bourbon, and crushed ice is so refreshing I guarantee it’ll become your summer staple.

If you’re preparing for your Memorial Day Weekend festivities, follow this easy cocktail recipe that’s perfect for any backyard BBQ or even a lounge by the pool:

mint julep

Ingredients:

Makes 2 drinks

  • 4 shots of bourbon
  • 1 handful of fresh mint leaves + for garnish
  • 4 cubes of cane sugar
  • ½ shot of fresh lemon juice
  1. Add mint leaves, sugar, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Muddle all of the ingredients in shaker until thoroughly crushed and the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add the bourbon and shake vigorously
  4. Strain mixture into glasses containing crushed ice and garnish with remaining mint leaves. To keep the tradition, serve in classic stainless steel julep cups like these from Draper James!

mint julep

TIP: The key to a classic Southern mint julep is the quality of bourbon (of course!) but it’s also about the ice. I like my juleps pretty icy so I like to use a muddler to crush. Muddling also brings out more of the flavor, too! If you prefer a lighter ice texture, use a blender.

For more traditional Southern cocktails for the summer, check out these links:

My Domaine | The 9 Best Southern Cocktail Recipes // Thrillist | 10 Southern Cocktails To Drink Where They Were Created // Yummly | Southern Alcoholic Drink Recipes

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Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.