This easy Mint Julep recipe is a twist on a classic Southern favorite, made with a refreshing blend of bourbon, fresh mint, and a hint of honey. Grab your favorite bourbon and start sipping!

mint julep in a clear glass on a white plate


Mint Juleps are a timeless classic with a taste that embodies the essence of Southern hospitality and charm. This iconic cocktail, known for its refreshing minty flavor and smooth bourbon base, is a Southern staple at social gatherings. In this recipe, we elevate the flavor of a classic mint julep recipe with the addition of honey simple syrup, creating pure perfection. If you prefer a keto-friendly version, check out this 0-Carb Mint Julep instead!

The simple yet elegant Mint Julep ingredients make the perfect drink to enjoy on a spring afternoon or a warm summer day. Or uphold Southern tradition by making a batch of mint juleps on Kentucky Derby Day to watch the horse races! Craft the perfect spring or summer cocktail with this Mint Julep recipe, complete with fresh mint, honey simple syrup, and a touch of lemon juice, all served over crushed ice for a truly refreshing experience.

More refreshing drinks you will love: Blood Orange Mimosa, Watermelon Limeade, or Sparkling Pineapple Strawberry Punch

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • Simple & Easy. All you will need is 5 simple ingredients and 5 minutes to make this delicious mint julep cocktail. 
  • Customizable. Easily make this recipe your own by using different types of bourbon or adding other ingredients like fruit, herbs, local honey, or flavored syrups for a twist.
  • Great for Entertaining. Whether you’re hosting a casual gathering or a formal event, a mint julep mixer is sure to impress your guests with its elegant presentation and refreshing flavor.
mint julep ingredients on a white background


Below are the ingredients you will need to make this delicious mint julep drink. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the page to see the exact amounts for each ingredient.

  • Mint Sprigs: Fresh mint sprigs are a key ingredient in a classic mint julep, providing a refreshing and aromatic flavor. It may seem like a lot, but you will want 6 mint sprigs or about 15-20 mint leaves for this recipe. 
  • Honey Simple Syrup: Make your own sweetener by combining equal parts honey and water, then heating until the honey is dissolved. Or buy pre-made syrup at the grocery store for easier prep!
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds a bright, citrusy flavor to the mint julep and balances the sweetness. 
  • Bourbon: Use your favorite bourbon! It adds a rich, smooth flavor with warming caramel, vanilla, and oak notes. 
  • Ice cubes: Crushed ice quickly cools off this cocktail and perfectly dilutes the drink as it melts, which is important for balancing the flavors.

How to Make a Mint Julep 

Below are photos and recipe steps so you can easily make this recipe at home. You will also need a cocktail shaker, a muddler, and a small glass. 

Muddle Mint with Simple Syrup

Add the mint leaves and honey simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Then muddle lightly with a muddling stick. Make sure not to use too much pressure–You want to bruise the leaves, not completely decimate them. If you overdo it, you run the risk of a more bitter flavor in your julep.

Add Lemon Juice and Bourbon

Add the lemon juice and bourbon, then top with ice. Shake vigorously 10-12 times. Then add more ice to a small glass, then strain the mint julep over the ice. Garnish with more mint sprigs and stir them in if you’d like. Now you’re ready to take a sip!


Mint juleps are essential for derby parties. You can even serve them in a silver julep cup for a festive treat! This tasty cocktail is a tasty sipper on its own or delicious paired with a variety of Southern-inspired appetizers and main dishes. For the perfect down-home summer meal, serve with Cornbread Salad and buttermilk fried chicken. Below are some of our favorite recipes to serve with this drink. 

overhead shot of mint julep in a clear glass

Tips and Tricks 

  • If you don’t have honey simple syrup, swap it 1:1 with regular simple syrup for the mint julep or your favorite flavored syrup, such as lavender! 
  • Muddle 15-20 mint leaves per drink. This may sound like a lot, but using more leaves muddled lightly is important so you don’t end up with mint flakes in your drink. Additionally, don’t over-muddle the leaves so they don’t break down too much and are hard to strain out of the drink.
  • Chill the glass beforehand by filling it with ice until you’re ready to serve or placing it in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will keep the drink cold and have the best quality. 

Mint Julep FAQ

What kind of bourbon for mint julep?

The choice of mint julep bourbon is a matter of personal preference. Some popular options include Woodford Reserve, Maker’s Mark, Buffalo Trace, and Bulleit Bourbon. Choose a bourbon that you enjoy drinking on its own, as it will be prominent in the drink.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version?

While classic mint julep recipes use bourbon as a main ingredient, you can make the recipe non-alcoholic! Omit the bourbon and either use a non-alcoholic spirit or simply increase the amount of water or lemon juice.

Are there recipe variations?

There are many variations of mint juleps including a peach julep made with peach liquor and fresh peaches, a strawberry julep made with strawberry liqueur and fresh strawberries, and a pineapple julep made with pineapple juice and fresh pineapples. You can also experiment with adding different herbs and spices like basil or cinnamon to create your own twist on the classic flavors.

Can you make mint juleps ahead of time?

No, this cocktail should not be prepped early — The key is an icy cold glass, freshly muddled mint leaves, and good quality bourbon. If you make this drink ahead of time, the ice will melt and water down your bourbon, and the mint flavor flattens out for a much less satisfying sip.

chilled glass with the perfect mint julep with honey simple syrup

If you love this cocktail, you’ve got to try these amazing drink recipes!

  • Spiked Blueberry Lemonade – This one is so easy to make ahead of time for a party or get-together! Great for tailgates, pool parties, and cookouts.
  • Blood Orange Raspberry Sangria – The perfect brunch cocktail! This gorgeous dark red sangria recipe is a favorite for bridal showers and pretty party spreads.
  • Apple Cider Sangria – This drink is too delicious to restrict to the chilly fall months! It’s a simple, sweet cocktail that is easy to serve at brunch, parties, or girls’ night.
  • Fruit Sorbet and Sparkling Wine Floats – Who knew wine and fruit could do so much?! This drink requires some prep ahead of time, but they make a beautiful presentation with amazing flavor.
  • Raspberry Red Wine Slushy with Chocolate Whipped Cream – These romantic slushies are incredibly easy and always elevate a dinner date or fun party!
close up shot of mint julep in a clear glass

Get the Recipe: Mint Julep

You'll feel the Southern charm with this easy Mint Julep recipe! Made with a refreshing blend of bourbon, fresh mint, and a hint of honey, it is the perfect summer sipper.
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  • 6 mint sprigs, plus more for garnish
  • 2 oz honey simple syrup
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • Ice


  • Add mint leaves and honey simple syrup to a cocktail shaker and muddle lightly.
  • Add the lemon juice and bourbon, then top with ice. Shake 10-12 times.
  • Add more ice to a small glass, then pour the mint julep over the ice.
  • Garnish with more mint sprigs. Drink up!


  • You can use regular simple syrup for this recipe if you don’t have honey simple syrup. It’s easy to make honey simple syrup at home. 
  • 6 mint sprigs = 15-20 mint leaves. This sounds like a lot but you don’t want to muddle them too much or you’ll end up with a lot of mint flakes in your drink and a more bitter flavor. Go heavy on the leaves and light on the pressure when muddling.
Serving: 1 drink, Calories: 235kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 0.1g, Fat: 0.1g, Sodium: 1.1mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 28.7g
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