Colonel Nickell's Perfect Julep


30 minutes or fewer

Juleps were originally made to mask the bitter taste of medicine—or moonshine. “Early Kentucky whiskey tasted so bad, imbibers had to add something to make it palatable,” explains Colonel Joe Nickell, author of The Kentucky Mint Julep. Adapted from The Kentucky Mint Julep by Colonel Joe Nickell.

  • SERVINGServings


  • 5 sprigs fresh mint
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 to 3 tsp. hot water
  • Crushed ice
  • 2 oz. bourbon


  1. Well before serving time, break up 4 mint sprigs into a cup. Add sugar, cover with hot water and stir. Allow to steep, and let cool.
  2. Press mint leaves against side of cup to “muddle” or crush them, creating a mint syrup.
  3. Fill highball glass almost to top with crushed ice, add bourbon and stir. Pour mint syrup over bourbon, and stir. Garnish with remaining mint sprig.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: Serves 1
  • Calories: 170
  • Carbohydrate Content: 4 g
  • Sugar Content: 4 g