In the U.S., there’s no other cocktail so strongly associated with an event as the Mint Julep is with the Kentucky Derby. It’s a pity that our national attention to the Mint Julep fades after the first Saturday in May. It’s such a fine, refreshing drink.
Juleps were America’s first internationally acclaimed cocktails, with the Mint Julep coming onto the scene in the late 1700’s around the time of the presidencies of George Washington and John Adams. In the 1830’s, the English Army noted that Mint Juleps were served during Independence Day celebrations in New York.
In 1845, an American from South Carolina introduced the Mint Julep to the University of Oxford—the beverage left such an impact that “Mint Julep Day” is still celebrated annually on June 1st.
Some historians argue that the Mint Julep remains America’s most important contribution to the world of cocktails. So try one this Saturday as you enjoy the Derby, “the most exciting two minutes in sports.” But don’t wait another 360-something days to have another round. It goes well with the 4th of July, Labor Day, Arbor Day, Thursdays…
Click here for our Derby Mint Julep recipe, and a link to other Derby Day recipes.