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The History of The Mint Julep

In honor of National Mint Julep Day, we are taking a look at the history behind this iconic drink! This cocktail is a combination of bourbon, mint, sugar, and water. It’s served over large amounts of crushed ice in a silver or pewter cup. The mint julep began its life as a medicinal concoction used to help settle an upset stomach. Later, it became a cocktail and gained a following in the American South in the 1700s. However, it was considered an elite drink because not everyone had access to the silver or pewter cups that the drink was (and still is) served in. In 1938, the mint julep became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. Every year since, nearly 120,000 mint juleps have been served at the race. Churchill Downs even issued commemorative cups for sale after they got so popular that people tried to steal them! In addition to being the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, the mint julep is widely considered to be the unofficial drink of the South.

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