Looking for a delicious twist on a classic cocktail? This Irish Julep is the perfect drink for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations!
When I was in my 20’s, I used to love going out to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with friends! Now that I am older, I still love it! Admittedly, however, I have ditched the green beer from the tap and traded it in for some more sophisticated cocktails. Now my go-to drinks are a whiskey sour and this Irish Mint Julep.
Like this recipe? Pin it to your DRINK pinboard!
Follow Real Housemoms on Pinterest
There is just something so satisfying about the smooth and simple sweetness of this Irish Julep. The flavor infusion from the crushed mint leaves and simple syrup blended together with your favorite brand of Irish Whiskey is perfection. These cocktails are so delicious they can be dangerous. Be sure to sip these refreshing Juleps at leisure so you can keep enjoying them all day, and night, long.
IRISH MINT JULEP INGREDIENTS
Irish Whiskey – This variation replaces the standard bourbon in a mint julep recipe with Irish Whiskey. I use Jameson Irish Whiskey because it is always the easiest to find and it tastes great in this drink. Any brand of Irish Whiskey will work, however. So if you have a favorite definitely go with what you know and love! I’m really partial to Tullamore D.E.W. myself.
Mint Leaves – I personally love a lot of mint leaves in my juleps! My mint leaves are typically muddled and crushed to extract as much minty flavor as I can get. With that being said, make sure if your entertaining guests with this cocktail, that you stock up on enough fresh mint leaves to keep the drinks flowing! Your guests will most likely be asking for a few rounds of this Irish Mint Julep cocktail.
HOW TO MAKE AN IRISH MINT JULEP
Traditionally, juleps are made with bourbon, crushed ice, and muddled mint leaves. To give this cocktail an Irish spin, I substituted the bourbon for Jameson Irish Whiskey.
- First, you want to prepare some simple syrup. This simple syrup is made with equal parts water and sugar boiled together on medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture thickens ever so slightly. Then take the pot off the heat and let the syrup cool completely.
Pro Tip: Make your simple syrup ahead of time and store it in an air-tight container for later. You can even buy pre-made simple syrup at the store, but homemade is SO much cheaper!
- Next, grab your favorite mint julep cup or a rocks glass and place a 1/2 ounce of simple syrup in it.
- Add in 6 mint leaves in the glass and crush them with the backside of a wooden spoon to release the oils in the mint.
- Next, add 1 1/2 ounces of Irish whiskey to the cup and top it with crushed ice. Stir the contents of your cup together.
- Finally, finish your cocktail by topping it with another 1 1/2 ounces of Irish whiskey and more crushed ice to fill the glass.
- Serve your cocktail immediately with a sprig of fresh mint for garnish.
WHY IS IT CALLED A MINT JULEP?
A julep is a sweet drink mixed traditionally with a sugar syrup and alcohol or medicine. The mint in “mint julep” comes simply from the addition of fresh, crushed mint leaves to the cocktail. In fact, the julep started out as a strictly medicinal drink. It was prescribed to people as a type of relief for upset stomachs because of the soothing quality of the mint.
The Mint Julep is considered to be the first American drink, with references to its existence dating as far back as the late 1700s in Virginia. Perhaps one of its most famous mentions comes from Miss Scarlett O’Hara herself when she describes a Mint Julep in the 1936 novel Gone With The Wind!
WHAT IS THE BEST BOURBON FOR A MINT JULEP?
This mint and bourbon drink has been an American favorite for centuries and was named the official drink of the Kentucky Derby in 1938. In the early days of the Derby, the mint julep was a cocktail reserved for only the wealthiest patrons. One of the most exclusive ingredients in this drink at the time was actually the ice, which was hard to come by before the 20th century. Juleps are also traditionally served in a silver cup, a symbol of wealth and status at the time. Now, thanks to modern technology, everyone can enjoy these strong and delicious drinks!
Because of its strong ties to the Kentucky Derby, the best bourbon to use, in my opinion, the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby itself– Woodford Reserve Bourbon. Of course, there are plenty of quality bourbons to choose from, each with its own flavor profiles. Four Roses, Knob Creek, and Maker’s Mark all have excellent bourbons to choose from, just to name a few.
TRY THESE OTHER REFRESHING COCKTAIL RECIPES
- Whiskey Smash
- Cucumber Mint Mojito
- Apple Pie Bourbon Smash
- Orange Spice Old Fashioned
- Raspberry Mint Moscato Lemonade
- More DRINK recipes…
TOOLS USED TO MAKE THIS IRISH JULEP RECIPE
Mint Julep Cups – You may be nowhere near the Kentucky Derby, but you can still feel like Southern royalty with these classic mint julep cups.
Cocktail Muddler – A cocktail muddler is not exactly a kitchen necessity, but it is definitely a step in the right direction for any aspiring bartender!
*This post originally posted on 02/18/2016.
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 12 mint leaves
- 6 ounces Irish whiskey (like Tullamore D.E.W. or Jameson)
- Crushed ice
- Mint sprigs for garnish
- Add sugar to the water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer on medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has thickened slightly. Remove and let cool completely.*Simple syrup can be made ahead of time and kept in an air-tight container for later.
- Divide 1 ounce of simple syrup between two rock glasses (1/2 ounce each). Place 6 mint leaves in each glass and crush with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Add 1 1/2 ounces of Irish whiskey to each glass and top with a little crushed ice. Stir.
- Top each glass with another 1 1/2 ounces of whiskey and more crushed ice. Serve immediately garnished with a sprig of fresh mint for garnish.