The Mint Julep: Born In The South, Thriving At The Derby
Since 1938, the mint julep has been the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, and it’s hard to imagine a cocktail more
quintessentially Southern. A combination of sugar, bourbon, crushed ice and mint, this refreshing drink conjures up images of a bygone genteel era. There are over 120,000 of these drinks served at the race each year, and even people at home get in the spirit of the event by mixing their own.
What you may not know, however, is that the history of the mint julep stretches far beyond the Derby, and the drink we all know and love has changed quite a lot over the years.
Early History of the Mint Julep
The mint julep has a history steeped in legend, with multiple origin stories told and believed throughout the region. Some fanciful tales suggest that the drink was developed when a Kentuckian, boating across the Mississippi, plucked fresh mint leaves growing wild on the banks and topped his bourbon with them.
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