Much to Kentucky’s dismay, we cannot officially lay claim to the origin of the Mint Julep, but we probably can claim the most consumed! With appearance in journals as early as the mid 1700’s the Mint Julep has been touted as a medicinal wonder, made with Brandy and Gin and heavily debated as to its vessel and how to hold it.
We can however lay claim to being the drinks ambassador. In his book, The Kentucky Mint Julep, Joe Nickell includes U.S. Senator, Henry Clay’s Mint Julep recipe, taken from his diary.
The time frame of the entry suggests Clay introduced the drink to Washington, D.C., at the Round Robin Bar in the famous Willard Hotel during his residence in the city.
And as great ambassadors, we show the world our favorite cocktail, as Churchill Downs serves up almost 120,000 Mint Juleps over the two day weekend on Oaks and Derby Day.
Regardless, who invited it, how you make it or what time of year you drink it … the ingredients are simple … ice, mint, sugar and any one of our great Kentucky Bourbon Whiskeys.