American Pastime Cocktails: Mint Julep and Old Fashioned

Here at ICE, our mixology experts craft delicious cocktail menus for cocktail-themed special events — a creative, hands-on option for a group event with friends or colleagues. In anticipation of our new lineup of cocktail themes, we’re sharing recipes for a couple of classic, American cocktails from our American Pastime theme. Mix, sip and repeat!

iHeartRadio Mixology class practicing cocktails

The Mint Julep

Yield: one cocktail 

The mint julep has been the signature beverage of the Kentucky Derby for nearly a century. Fact: each year, almost 120,000 mint juleps are served over the two-day period of Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby weekend at Churchill Downs Racetrack. That requires more than 10,000 bottles of Old Forester Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint and 60,000 pounds of ice! 

mint julep cocktail
Mint Julep

Ingredients:

  • ¼ ounces raw sugar syrup
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • Handful of fresh mint, stemmed removed
  • Bitters (optional)

Glass: julep cup or rocks glass

Preparation:

  1. In your glass, gently muddle the mint and syrup. Add bourbon and pack glass with crushed ice.
  2. Stir until the cup is frosted on the outside.
  3. Top with more crushed ice to form an ice dome and garnish with a few drops of bitters (if desired) and lots of mint

* Pro tip: Gently muddle, so as not to bruise the mint and make it bitter. The more mint you garnish with the better — it’s there for the aromatics as you sip the drink. Get metal julep stirrers that have a straw/spoon combo to go through the ice. 

Agave Old Fashioned Cocktail
Old Fashioned with Mezcal

The Old Fashioned

Yield: 1 cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces rye bourbon or straight rye whiskey
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 1 brown sugar cube
  • 1 orange peel

Glass: rocks glass

Preparation:

  1. In a glass, add the syrup, bitters and orange peel.
  2. Use a muddler to gently press the orange peel to release the citrus oils.
  3. Remove orange peel, then add the whiskey and stir. Add ice cubes and stir again.
  4. Place orange peel on top of ice to garnish.

*Pro tip: Originally, an old fashioned cocktail could be made using any spirit — so you can use your preferred spirit, too! Don’t like whiskey? Try gin, rum, brandy, mezcal, tequila…you name it.

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