Although mint juleps have been associated with the Kentucky Derby since 1875, genteel folk were drinking them in Virginia and other Southern states some time before that.
Many claim that the preparation of this complicated drink is a skill that must be practiced to be perfected. In New Orleans, you’ll be hard pressed to find a craft bartender who doesn’t have the original julep with fresh mint leaves down pat. It’s a great choice for a hot Southern night, whether you drink it out of a go cup or a sterling silver tumbler, coated with frost.
Muddle the mint, the sugar and the water in a cup. Add the bourbon and stir gently. Fill a glass to the top with finely crushed ice, add the julep mix and garnish with mint. (An ounce of mint simple syrup can be substituted for the mint/sugar/water mixture.)