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Christmas treat: Classic Bourbon Mint Julep

Among the greatest bourbon-based cocktails is the Mint Julep, which originated in the Southern state of Virginia, probably as a direct result of the huge bourbon production in the area. The cocktail’s simplicity is the key to its longevity, with four very simple ingredients.


2 teaspoons granulated sugar or simple sugar syrup
4 sprigs of fresh mint, plus an extra sprig to garnish
2 teaspoons water (omit if using sugar syrup)
40ml (1 ½ measures) quality bourbon
Wild Turkey 101 works well here


Add the sugar, mint, water, and some crushed ice to a Collins-style glass and muddle together.

Then add the bourbon and more crushed ice, stir, and top with the extra sprig of mint.

Serve with a straw, a good-looking squeeze with a smile to die for, and a dead cert in the Kentucky Derby.

To really give this a positively fruit-laden slap, use a couple of teaspoons of black cherry jam instead of the sugar.

Recipe taken from Distilled: From absinthe & brandy to vodka & whisky, the world’s finest artisan spirits unearthed, explained & enjoyed by Joel Harrison & Neil Ridley, available here

Distilled Jacket Image hires