Best Bourbon for Mint Julep Cocktail (Derby)

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Ready to hear about the best bourbon for mint julep cocktails? We’re ready to give it to you! We’ve got seven sexy picks for you today. We’re all about the mint julep at Prestige. We don’t hide our Louisville pride and joy. And we certainly get down (that Churchill kinda Downs) with this Derby cocktail classic when the time is right.

And guess what? The time is right. It’s spring. We’re in that Kentucky Derby state of mind. Even when it’s not the first Saturday in May, we’re in the spirit. Give us Louisville, horses, bourbon, and mint juleps–or give us death. Seriously.

Just the Julep Basics

Here’s the recipe rundown. Hold your horses. It’s… wait. It’s super easy. You’ll need 2 oz. of your favorite bourbon, mint leaves, and ¼-½ oz. simple syrup.

Traditionally, it’s served with a heaping helping of crushed ice. Most people like to garnish with mint, of course. In fact, it doesn’t really say “mint julep” without that signature leafy-green sprig. Some incorporate a couple of dashes of bitters as well. Up to you.

We like Woodford Reserve’s how-to video! Have a look for some essential steps and sweet tips. The cold ice, bright mint, and lovely bourbon–it’s a slap of refreshment, is what it is. Perfect for the warmer months.

Best Bourbon for Mint Julep: Our 7 Picks

Break out those silver beakers, folks! Get fancy (if you wanna) and make your bets. Most of all, be sure you have one, two, or all of these bourbons on hand. This home bar bourbon selection will satisfy every single friend you have. Trust us. There’s something for everyone here.

With this cocktail’s dilution–all that crushed or pebble ice, yo–the proof of the bourbon is important. Proofs are on the rise in this list for a reason.

1) Bulleit Bourbon

Best Bourbon for Mint Julep - Bulleit
Bulleit Bourbon | 90 Proof | $26.99 | Definitely a crowd-pleaser.

2) Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon | 90 Proof | $23.99 | This is a bourbon standby.

3) Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Best Bourbon for Mint Julep - Woodford Reserve Bourbon
Woodford Reserve Bourbon | 90.4 Proof | $28.99 | A mint julep go-to, for sure.

4) Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon | 100 Proof | $32.99 | Big things come in small batches.

5) Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon

Best Bourbon for Mint Julep - Russell's Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon
Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon | 110 Proof | $59.99 | Pair 1 oz. of this with 1 oz. of Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye (104 Proof | $69.99) in your mint julep recipe. You’ll have something extra special.

6) Old Grand-Dad 114 Bourbon

Best Bourbon for Mint Julep - Old Grand-Dad 114 Bourbon
Old Grand-Dad 114 Bourbon | 114 Proof | $25.99 | You know it’s there in the mint julep. Oh, you know it’s there.

7) Kings County Straight Bourbon

Best Bourbon for Mint Julep -  Kings County Straight Bourbon
Kings County Straight Bourbon | 90 Proof | $27.99 | Get the recipe for Kings County Mint Julep Ice Cream right here! It’s great for Derby parties. A cool, newer twist on a tried-and-true staple!

We “Mint” To Make You Crave for the Julep

How to mix cocktail.
Let’s get ready to make some Mint Julep cocktails! [Photo cred: Flickr]

We like to claim it as our own, down South, but it really should be welcomed and enjoyed all over. It’s one of the simplest, most rewarding cocktails around.

Getting ready for your Kentucky Derby festivities in May? Make one of our handcrafted decanters and some whiskey glasses part of your setup. They’re show-stopping centerpieces and conversation starters something serious.

Share with us your favorite bourbon for mint julep cocktails below in the comments. We truly would love to get your perspective on this!

Headed to Louisville anytime soon? Read our article 10 Must-Visit Bourbon Bars in Louisville.

Thanks for stopping by the blog. Keep coming back for more!


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Each decanter is handcrafted and hand-blown, formed into designs limited only by imagination. We never skip steps to cut costs either. Instead, our decanters are made the hard way because quality takes effort and that’s what you deserve. Whether you are looking for a statement piece for your home bar or shopping for something elegant for that special loved one, our decanters are always a timeless gift. If you're searching for style, inspired craftsmanship, and a transformative piece of art that also elevates the flavor profile of your favorite wines and spirits, look no further.

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