Traditional Mint Julep

If you don’t love a Julep, then my guess is, you’ve probably never had the real deal. The thing is, this classic cocktail is very simple in terms of ingredients, but it is all about the techniques and you can’t skip on the bouquet of mint. There’s a ton of history when it comes to the Mint Julep, and I’m here to share on this Derby Weekend.

For the longest time, the word Julep traditionally referred to medicine. This goes all the way back to the 900’s (that’s right, YEAR 900), fifteenth-century latin translations and 1600’s. While in the 1700’s we see a shift. It is understood that a Julep could also refer to as the drink we know today. So whether or not these guys were just having a good time with booze and referencing the Julep to ease their ailment, well we will never really know. What we do know is that this is technically the first recorded cocktail in American history, which is why it is so boldly referenced that the Mint Julep is the TRUE American Cocktail.

What we also know is that the base was somewhat flexible back then, changing between Gin, Rum and Cognac, but by 1775, it was clear that Brandy/Cognac was the true spirit of the Julep.

This is why you won’t see a bourbon or whiskey like you typically find in a Julep here today, and I’m very okay with that. I’ve grown to love and appreciate Brandy and Cognacs in cocktails for its irreplaceable depth and character. Now obviously you can splurge and go all out when a Brandy or Cognac is involved, but that’s why I love the H by Hine so much. They made H by Hine as an approachable Cognac for cocktails! Did you know that Hine Cognac is the official Cognac for THE QUEEN?! That’s right. Royalty approved of this cognac. So if the Queen is down for this, I’m down for it. Not that I didn’t love it in the first place. I’ve long had an appreciation for this brandy before I knew this fun little fact. But it’s nice knowing that the Queen and I have similar taste.

So today, I’m not doing anything special, but giving you the traditional classic as per Jerry Thomas in its original, historic glory! Cheers to the Derby Weekend!

Traditional Mint Julep

Looking at the classic Mint Julep cocktail recipe for the Derby Weekend!

– Difficulty: Intermediate

Servings 1 Cocktail
Author Monica C


  • 1 tbsp Superfine Sugar plus extra for topping
  • 2 tbsps Water
  • 3 oz Brandy/Cognac H by Hine Used Here
  • 5 sprigs Mint
  • 1 dash Jamaican Rum Appleton Used Here


  1. Take 4 sprigs of Mint and mix with water and sugar until the mint flavour is extracted

  2. Add Cognac and fill the Julep tin 3/4 full of crushed ice.

  3. Stir/churn until the liquid reaches the top.

  4. Top with crushed ice. Add remaining Mint Sprig for bouquet, arranged with berries and orange slice on top

  5. Add a quick dash of Jamaican Rum with a sprinkle of sugar on top

  6. Add straw and enjoy!

Monica Carbonell

Hi, I’m Monica and I’m your Fairy Barmother. At Liquid Culture, creativity is encouraged and education is used to empower followers to be the best they can be. We want to provide you with the tools to confidently bartend within your own home and to have some fun while doing it too! Inside this website you will find recipes, videos, articles and more that will teach you everything you need to know about being your best Home Bartender!


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