the top 6 places in Our Derby City for Mint Juleps 

There are many things synonymous with the Kentucky Derby, but maybe none more so than hoisting a sterling silver cup with a nice spring of fresh mint sticking out the top of a Mint Julep.

Mint - the essential ingredient

Mint – the essential ingredient

Granted many people don’t imbibe in this drink except during Derby week and most will cringe when they try it for the first time. However that can be from a poorly concocted recipe using generic ingredients.

The drink first made its appearance during the 1938 Kentucky Derby in a souvenir glass that sold for – 75 cents.

Today over the course of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby the concessions at Churchill Downs will sell over 80,000.

The drink originated back to the early 1800’s and possibly the 1700’s. Early farmers would mix up the recipe and at dawn take a drink to start their day. Thus people entering Churchill Downs are ready to kick start their day with the drink.

The main ingredient is Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey which is the biggest change from early drinks. Add some sugar, syrup, mint leaves, crushed ice and you have your Mint Julip.

Mint Julep - a Derby essential

Mint Julep – a Derby essential

For the true experience check out these classic takes on this timeless classic with a little added twist by some. The best many times accompany a great dinning experience.

THE BROWN HOTEL (LOBBY OR ENGLISH GRILL in DOWNTOWN) – This iconic Louisville hotel with impeccable service never disappoints. Enjoy sipping it in ornate lobby or before a wonder dinner and Hot Brown in the English Grill. Using Makers Mark they add a little powdered sugar and club soda.

335 W. Broadway, Louisville KY. 502.583.1234

THE SILVER DOLLAR (CLIFTON) – A restaurant with a modern take on Southern inspired food combined with a honey tonk music theme all rolled into one. Here the mint is kept fresh in a chilled julep cup with chilled water and ice before added 100-proff Four Roses Single Barrel whiskey.

1761 Frankfort Ave. Louisville, KY 502.259-9540

Jockey Silks Bourbon Bar

Jockey Silks Bourbon Bar

THE JOCKEY SILKS BOURBON BAR (DOWNTOWN) – If you are downtown near the Galt House stop by for an endless offering of bourbons (150 plus)  in an English pub setting where you can enjoy some pub food. Bartenders here like to muddle the drink with the mint to bring out the aroma.

140 N. 4th St. Louisville, KY 502.589.5200

DOWNONE BOURBON BAR AND RESTAURNT (DOWNTOWN) – Right in the heart of Whiskey Row this former underground parking garage now features 160 whiskeys in a setting that borrows from much of Louisville’s historic landmarks. It’s a full restaurant as well that appears on many destination lists. Their unique twist is to infuse a blackberry puree with ginger liqueur and fresh ginger and of course high proof Henry McKenna BIB bourbon. Thus the drink Ginger Bear Claw Julep was born.

321 Main St. Louisville, KY. 502.566.3259


PROOF ON MAIN (DOWNTOWN) – A must stop for Louisvillians for good ever changing drink creations at the 21C Museum Hotel. Enjoy the award winning art gallery, dinner and last year’s newly created drink The Woodford Herbed Julep.

Proof on Main - Louisville

Proof on Main – Louisville

Crafted by eliminating the generic syrup with house made ginger and a splash of Amaro Dell’Erborista this inspired drink will have you ordering another.

702 W. Main St. Louisville, KY 502.217.6360

DOC CROW’S (DOWNTOWN) – Another jewel along Whiskey Row this diverse restaurant offers American Southern cuisine featuring fresh seafood and BBQ. But don’t forget the array of bourbon offerings. Their Derby feature is the Near Eastern Julep which has ginger infused syrup with Old Grand Dad bourbon. Lots of crushed ice and topped with the bitter Becherovka.

Doc Crow's

Doc Crow’s

Want something sweeter try the Mint Julep Lemonade with syrup, lemon juice, mint and Henry McKenna Single Barrel.

127 W. Main St. Louisville, KY 502.587.1626