Peggy’s Mint Julep

Springtime in the South means two things: The Kentucky Derby and Mint Juleps


Spring means a couple things in Kentucky: April showers filling our creeks and rivers with water for future bourbon, and the annual running of the Kentucky Derby. Whether you are celebrating with friends or family during the 145th Kentucky Derby, this mint julep recipe from entertainment editor Peggy Noe Stevens is sure to quench your thirst and satisfy your guests.


  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 2 cups water

  • 7 mint leaves

  • 3 ounces bourbon



  1. Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and boil until the granules have dissolved.

  2. Turn off the heat and steep approximately 5 mint leaves in the hot mixture until it cools.

  3. Remove the mint sprigs and refrigerate the sugar syrup.

  4. Tear 1 to 2 mint leaves, depending on their size, from the stem.

  5. Place 1 tablespoon of the syrup and mint leaves into a julep cup, and muddle together at the bottom of the glass.

  6. Add 2 to 3 ounces of your favorite bourbon and stir.

  7. Pack with crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig and straw.


Tip from Peggy: I always make the syrup several days before the party to really marry the flavors and texture. For flavored juleps, use your favorite marmalades and preserves (¼ to ½ cup per, depending how sweet you like your julep). Boil mixture and steep the mint accordingly. Store in the fridge. The beauty of the mint julep is that you may dial up or down any of the ingredients to your personal taste. I like to freeze my julep cups before making the drinks in order to have nice frosty glasses.

Read the full article “Derby Entertaining” by Peggy Noe Stevens in the Spring 2019 issue of Bourbon+.

Peggy Noe Stevens
Official Contributor

A woman of many firsts, Peggy Noe Stevens is the world’s first female Master Bourbon Taster. A true Kentuckian, she spent 25+ years promoting and innovating America’s native spirit. She founded the first Bourbon Women’s Association, is an original creator of the iconic Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and has won industry awards for her innovations. Her true love is immersing herself in entertaining, tasting profiles, and culinary pairings. Known by many in the industry as "a lifestyle maven," Peggy has worked with celebrities like Julia Child and Bobby Flay, designing hundreds of high-profile events. On the pages of each issue, she’ll make entertaining approachable and easy to do in your own home. From Derby to down home, this tastemaker brings one of a kind expertise to Bourbon+.