Find happy hours and drink specials anywhere you are

Drinks Decoded: Mint Julep

In this series, we take a closer look at well-known cocktails. We get to know the history behind classic drinks as well as where you can find them in the DMV area. This week’s Drinks Decoded takes on the Mint Julep.

The Basics
A southern favorite, the Mint Julep is typically made with bourbon, water, sugar, crushed or shaved ice, and garnished with a sprig of mint (although there is some controversy over whether the mint should be muddled instead). They are traditionally served in silver or pewter Julep cups and should be handled by the bottom or edges of the cup, allowing for frost and condensation to develop on the cup's exterior. Mint Juleps can also be made with gin (and have also been made with rum or brandy in the past), however, bourbon-based Juleps have become the better-known and more popular version.

The Backstory
The word Julep is derived from a Persian word meaning “rose water” and was typically used as a sweet drink for imbibing medicines in the 1700’s. As such, Mint Juleps were actually prescribed for stomach aches in the 18th century in addition to being a fortified  breakfast drink. Most people have come to recognize the Mint Julep as the cocktail of the Kentucky Derby. In 1875, Churchill Downs officially opened and soon after began serving up the drink. The Julep became so popular it was named the track’s signature drink in 1938. Today, about 120,000 Juleps are drunk over the course of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby. Henry Clay, US Senator and Kentucky statesman, first introduced the Mint Julep to Washington, DC in the 1800’s at the Willard Hotel (now the Willard InterContinental) and where the Round Robin Bar continues to serve up Clay’s own recipe for Juleps.

The Bars
Teddy & the Bully Bar 
The folks behind Teddy and the Bully Bar put a little twist on the classic cocktail by offering a Strawberry Mint Julep made with Woodford Mint Infused Bourbon, strawberry shrub and mint. (1200 19th St., NW; 202-872-8700)

If you’re specifically searching for Mint Juleps in DC, look no further than the Round Robin Bar in the Willard InterContinental. The aforementioned bar is where the drink was first introduced to DC and where current bartender Jim Hewes stays true to Clay’s roots by mixing up the Senator’s original recipe. (1401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-628-9100)
 
Peruse the Classic Cocktail list at speakeasy-esque bar Denson, and you’ll find a Mint Julep made with bourbon, peach, and simple syrup. (600 F St., NW; 202-499-5018)
 
Top photo by The Drink Nation; Bottom photo via Teddy & the Bully Bar

 

 


Tags: Cocktails
Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon has debuted an entirely new label design, has expanded to more states...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 3, 2019
Where to Drink Bourbon in D.C.

Where to Drink Bourbon in D.C.

Where to drink bourbon? Check out our top picks below for places to sip the barrel aged spirit....read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Apr 2, 2019
Welcome Warmer Weather in D.C. with These Spring Cocktails

Welcome Warmer Weather in D.C. with These Spring Cocktails

Spring is in bloom and in DC that means the welcome of cherry blossoms and spring-inspired cocktails on seasonal drink menus. ...read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Mar 19, 2019
SPONSORED
Drink Nation Store Rectangle
PBR is Making Its Own Whiskey For the Perfect Shot & Beer Combo

PBR is Making Its Own Whiskey For the Perfect Shot & Beer Combo

Pabst Blue Ribbon has filed documents to create its very own whiskey, making for the perfect shot & beer combo....read more ›

by Drink Philly Mar 18, 2019
Behind the Bar: Tory Pratt of Pratt Standard

Behind the Bar: Tory Pratt of Pratt Standard

In this edition of Behind the Bar, we chatted with Tory Pratt, the founder of Pratt Standard....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Mar 7, 2019
D.C.'s Best Beer Bars

D.C.'s Best Beer Bars

Where's the best place to get your brew on? From beer gardens to bars, here are some of our favorite spots to knock back a few pints....read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Mar 5, 2019
Acclaimed Director Ridley Scott Has Made Seven Short Films for Hennessy X.O.

Acclaimed Director Ridley Scott Has Made Seven Short Films for Hennessy X.O.

Ridley Scott has directed a four-minute short film for Hennessy X.O. visualizing the seven flavors of the high...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Mar 4, 2019
Behind the Bar: Chris Morris, Master Distiller of Woodford Reserve

Behind the Bar: Chris Morris, Master Distiller of Woodford Reserve

On this edition of Behind the Bar, we had the honor to sit down with Chris Morris, the master distiller at Woo...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Feb 28, 2019
Neighborhood Bar Crawl: H Street

Neighborhood Bar Crawl: H Street

From Asian street food and ramen to cocktail dens, H Street has a mix of it all. Check out some of our top spots to visit when dining and drinking at ...read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Feb 19, 2019
Haagen-Dazs is Making Booze-Infused Ice Cream

Haagen-Dazs is Making Booze-Infused Ice Cream

Step aside, after dinner drinks - Haagen-Dazs is releasing a line of spiked ice cream....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Feb 19, 2019
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close