May’s Prettiest Mint Juleps

May is pretty perfect in Kentucky – warmer weather, the excitement of the Kentucky Derby, and of course, Mint Julep month. Below, we’ve collected five of the prettiest Juleps we’ve seen this month.

1. Jesus Gomez’s Agave Julep

We hope you got this julep while you could! Jesus Gomez came all the way from Los Angeles to mix up this minty fresh cocktail for the Bourbon Review’s Julep Shindig in Lexington, Kentucky. Alongside three other bartenders from across the country, over 150 guests sampled Juleps and southern fare to celebrate our favorite reason for the season. Gomez’s julep sweetened the deal with agave syrup for a little SoCal flair – and we had too much fun sampling.

2. The Brown Hotel’s Rip Van Winkle Agave Julep

This is the top shelf julep to end all juleps. With 25 Year Old Rip Van Winkle and Patron en Lalique: Serie, this cocktail celebrated Cinco de Derby like no other. The Brown Hotel has held lavish Derby parties for decades, but this $1500 drink stole the show. Even the cup was decadent and depraved, with custom gold plating and engraving. Key lime infused sugar kept the simple syrup from being too sweet, while chocolate bitters kept things unexpected.

3. Basil Hayden’s Lemon Julep

Caitie McCabe Photography

While its not served in the traditional julep glass, we like that it transcends Derby Day and skips the stereotypes. This light and lemony julep is simplicity and sweetness in a glass. Basil Hayden’s low proof makes this cocktail a summer sipper that will last all season, and the fresh mint keeps you cool when its hot. Think of it as the julep you’d find at a lemonade stand – if the lemonade stand was owned by Bourbon lovers in Kentucky.


4. Maker’s Mark Watermelon Basil Julep

Maker’s Mark says their Watermelon Basil Julep is where “Layers of herbal, fruity depth meet their minty, bourbon-y counterpart in this deliciously bold spin on a race-day favorite.” We love this take on the julep – but we also love their commitment to water conservation effort and their work to end waste with #thelastplasticstraw. Maker’s Mark teamed up with Garden and Gun to help bars across the country switch to paper straws (originally invented for mint juleps) and create their own julep recipes.

5. Jim Beam Blueberry Julep

This bright and juicy julep has the best of Bourbon and berries. Jim Beam Black kicks things up a notch while the berries and herbs balance it out.


Caroline Paulus
Caroline Paulus is the Senior Editor for The Bourbon Review. She lives and writes in Lexington, Kentucky. Follow her on Instagram @misswhiskeyhistorian to keep up with her latest in bourbon news - and a few old finds, too.