Five Things You Didn't Know About Mint Juleps | Pittsburgh City Paper

Five Things You Didn't Know About Mint Juleps

BONUS: Learn how you can make the perfect mint julep, courtesy of Margaret Sue Masters, “The Kentucky Hostess”

The 144th running of the Kentucky Derby is almost upon us. Saturday, May 5th, 29 horses will line up for a chance to win the race that's come to be known as the Run for the Roses. Let's get to better know the mint julep, the official drink of the Derby, shall we?

1.) The mint julep has become as much a part of Derby lore as the race itself.  Derby-goers will go through 10,000 bottles of bourbon, 60,000 tons of ice, and 1,000 pounds of fresh mint. That is a lot of fresh mint.

2.) The word "julep" has its roots in ancient Arabic. A centuries-old drink, the julab, made with water and rose petals, moved its way into the Mediterranean. There they replaced the rose petal with fresh mint. The drink then took off across Europe, made its way to America, and is now the mint julep we all know and love.

3.) The mint julep was originally a morning drink. The early-rising farmers and horse trainers would start their days at dawn, relying on the sugar-infused cocktail to give them the pep they needed for the day. I, for one, am fully on board with this and am planning to advocate that we replace our office coffee pot with a wet bar and mint julep fixings.
4.) Miss the Derby? Don't fret. May 30th is National Mint Julep Day.

5.) Mint juleps will be part of the select open bar at our Cinco De Derby party this May 5. We can't beam you all to Churchill Downs, but we can throw you a great Derby party right here. Join us May 5 as we sip mint juleps, wear our fancy hats, and cheer on our favorite horses for charity. You can buy your tickets at

AND! Added bonus: Don't want to wait for the Derby to get your hands on a refreshing julep? We have Margaret Sue Masters Mint Julep recipe straight from Bardstown, Ky. Now you can make your very own. Get to sipping!