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May 1, 2012 08:27 AM

Mint Julep time

It is almost time for the Derby, which means it's Mint Julep time

What are a couple good Boubon's to start with for Mint Julep's other than Van Pappy 15 year - would prefer a 40-50ish option or less if possible unless going higher is really worth it

I have Bulleit Bourbon on hand, not sure if that is good enough for Mint Juleps or not

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  1. Woodford Reserve is what is served in the mint juleps at churh hill downs, and Maker's Mark is a go to for most Louisvillians. Both should be in the $40-50 range.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mford7402

      Totally agree. A top shelf sipping whiskey is wasted in a mint julep. If you want to get back to the original flavor, a raw, assertive rye is more in order. It has to meet the challenge of the muddled mint and syrup.

      And please don't make them ahead of time, or the mint will overpower everything. You might as well make them with creme de menthe.

    2. Was gifted a bottle of EH Taylor barrel proof and wondering about it's suitability for Juleps. Yes, I know it's a "sipper", but even with small splash of H2O, not quite to my liking for same.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Sam Spade

        Why not try it and see if you like it?

        I find simple bourbons like Jim Beam work quite nicely in a julep, but I imagine a more interesting bourbon would make for a more interesting julep. High proof should also help the flavor punch through the dilution from the ice.I bet Old Weller 107 or Booker's would make for a great julep (never tried the EH Taylor).

      2. Anyone notice the price of sterling julep cups lately? For the price of a set, one could buy an Arabian horse!

        2 Replies
          1. re: c oliver

            Graduate third in the class at the Armor Officer Advance Course and you were presented with a sterling julep cup.

            Now that they have moved to Georgia (Benning School for Boys) do they get a silver peanut?

        1. Why would you ever use a top of the line sipping whiskey in a mint julep? Just as a status symbol? If there's one thing that seems to be agreed upon in the many, many cocktail and spirits threads on here, it is that good booze makes better cocktails, but at a certain point, the benefits rarely justify the cost. Honestly, if someone offered me a mint julep using Pappy, I'd happily accept it out loud, but in my mind I'd be thinking, "What a waste. I would have much rather had the Pappy neat." Then again, I've only had Pappy Van Winkle, so maybe Van Pappy isn't quite as good ;)

          As others have said, Woodford seems to work for a lot of Kentuckians. I've made terrific juleps with Buffalo Trace as well as Old Grand Dad 114. Bulleit is considered an excellent cocktail bourbon and would also likely make a fine Julep.

          1. Hello Julep Friends...favorite recipes to share?

            12 Replies
            1. re: BiscuitBoy

              Saw a tweet today about a Lagavulin Julep at Hawthorne (Boston area). I'm sure it's good, but my bottle wept a little tear.


              1. re: EvergreenDan

                essentially minty and sweetened bourbon...I guess I can pass

                1. re: BiscuitBoy

                  ?? Yes, a Mint Julep is minty, sweetened bourbon, but Lagavulin is as far from bourbon as a whiskey can get, I'd say.

                  If you're saying that you'll pass on Mint Juleps, I agree. If you want something totally kick-ass, try Chris Amirault's No Mint Bittered Cynar Julep, or the original Cynar Julep from Beta Cocktails.

                  I always go easy on the syrup; you can always add more.

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                  1. re: EvergreenDan

                    yeah, I have Cynar hiding somewhere, maybe that's a good use for it

                    1. re: EvergreenDan

                      Oh, bovered! Minty and sweetened bourbon, yes...AND THEY TASTE AWESOME!!!

                      Such a tasty and refreshing warm weather drink, how can anyone besmirch it unless they don't like bourbon, crushed ice, mint, and a little simple syrup, and how can anyone hate those things?!?!? :)

                      1. re: The Big Crunch

                        I'll take bourbon and ice in a silver cup any day....leave the sugar water and mint for the chic drinks

                        1. re: BiscuitBoy

                          So, are you basically saying you hate cocktails? Mint is really common in many, many, many classic cocktails, and almost by definition a cocktail includes a sweetening agent. Not sure I'd call all of them chick drinks, but then again, a lot of drinkers believe anything other than straight liquor is "girly" and a waste of booze. I don't like limiting myself from tasty things, so I enjoy cocktails and straight booze equally, depending on what I'm in the mood to drink.

                          1. re: The Big Crunch

                            @TBC There are a great many cocktails (unless you're using the archaic meaning of cock-tail) where the sugar is balanced by acid, bitterness, and/or challenging herbal flavors. The Mint Julep isn't one of them.

                            Alas I know of only 1 great cocktail that has essentially no sugar. At least its a REALLY great cocktail.

                            BTW, I consider my dislike for sweet cocktails a disadvantage. It make it much harder for me to find a drink I like at a bar or restaurant.

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                            1. re: EvergreenDan

                              I don't like the sweetness, fullness in most bourbons even before the sugar that goes into a cocktail is added.And given how trendy bourbon is, in my opinion sweet drinks ae hard to avoid these days.

                              The first time I tried a Julep, I was sick on my stomach it was so sweet. It was well made, in a sterling cup and all, but to me it begged for a lemon.

                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                  Well, then it's not a mojito :) But, really, how does that change much? Still got the sugar in the form of simple syrup.

                            2. re: The Big Crunch

                              Love cocktails, but a julep seems like a waste of nice bourbon...The same way a sour mix ruins good tequila in a margarita. For shiggles, and since my mint is going crazy, I will make a julep, and raise my glass to you and snooki