Today I’m bringing you a twist on the classic Kentucky Derby Recipe – the Mint Julep. The Mint Julep is such an iconic Kentucky Derby drink…in fact it is THE drink for the Kentucky Derby, but sometimes a different spin on the original isn’t a bad idea. In this case, it is an AMAZING idea. Mint Julep Lemonade is a simple way to make an easy bourbon cocktail that is perfect for watching the Derby!
The Kentucky Derby is the first weekend of May, and is arguably the most famous of the Triple Crown races. It is a staple of southern culture with ALL of the drinks, food, and of course, hats! The Mint Julep is THE drink made at the Kentucky Derby, with classic Kentucky bourbon, muddled mint, simple syrup, and ice. The Derby even has an official bourbon – Woodford Reserve. I found this Maker’s Mark bourbon at the liquor store that is a special edition for the Kentucky Derby – it’s essentially a pre-made Mint Julep cocktail. And it’s SO good!
I was testing drinks for the Derby, and I decided to mix some lemonade with the Maker’s Mark Mint Julep. The Mint Julep Lemonade was a hit! I’m talking everyone asked for immediate refills and that was the must-have drink for the rest of the afternoon. Mint Julep Lemonade is that good! It’s not as strong as an original Mint Julep, which also helps these drinks go down on a warm day. It’s probably the best hard lemonade you’ll ever drink. They’ll be perfect to drink during the Kentucky Derby as well as at upcoming spring and summer parties.
Here are the ingredients you need to make this easy Mint Julep recipe:
Mint Julep Lemonade Ingredients
- Maker’s Mark Mint Julep (Ready-Made)
- Mint and Sliced Lemons, for garnish
- Mint Julep Glasses (you’ll definitely feel Derby ready with these classic metal cups!)
- Cocktail Shaker (you can find an inexpensive one for mixing drinks on Amazon)
How to Make a Mint Julep Lemonade
(makes one Mint Julep)
- Fill your Mint Julep cup 1/2 full with crushed ice
- Add 3oz Maker’s Mark Mint Julep
- Fill the rest of the cup with Lemonade
- Garnish with mint leaves and a slice of lemon
- Drink up!
The best part about this Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Lemonade recipe is that it’s so easy, you can’t mess it up. Because instead of making a classic Mint Julep recipe, our version calls for Maker’s Mark Mint Julep that’s ready made! Just mix with ice and add your garnish. No one will guess what your secret is for the best Mint Julep recipe!
If you make these, your Kentucky Derby parties will never be the same. You’ll be tossing the classic Mint Julep recipe and will be making these for everyone. And I’m also thinking these will be my go-to drinks for the rest of the spring and into summer outdoor parties!
Tips for Making the Best Mint Julep Lemonade
- If you can’t find the pre-made Maker’s Mark Mint Julep, you can absolutely make your own. Use the best bourbon you can (like Woodford Reserve, the official Derby bourbon) and muddled mint. There are tons of recipes, but the original is always the best. Follow the Woodford Reserve Mint Julep Recipe.
- Use fresh mint and lemon as a garnish – don’t leave it off. When muddled with a Mint Julep or the Mint Julep Lemonade, fresh mint is the best, and adding the fresh lemon gives the drink a fresh taste!
- You can even make your own fresh homemade lemonade. I used Simply Lemonade because I love the taste, but using homemade would definitely be amazing.
- This lemonade is definitely a bourbon cocktail. Remember that this drink packs a punch! (Just like a real Mint Julep.
More Kentucky Derby Ideas and Mint Julep Recipes:
- Mint Julep Sweet Tea
- Mint Julep Jello Shots
- Kentucky Derby Berries & Cream with Bourbon
- Personalized Kentucky Derby Invitation
- Kentucky Derby Party Ideas