If you want the perfect Kentucky Derby cocktail, you’ll love this fruity Mint Julep Punch!
The most exciting two minutes in sports is right around the corner! Yes, I’m talking about the Kentucky Derby. Let’s cheer on our favorite horses while sipping this delicious Southern Mint Julep Punch! Sip sip, hooray!
What is Mint Julep Punch?
What is mint julep punch, to be exact? Is it different than a regular mint julep? I’m glad you asked!
While I love a traditional mint julep, I love this mint julep punch even more. The addition of a delicious blend of fruit juices gives the mint julep its fruity punch taste while still carrying on the classic bourbon and mint flavors we all love for Derby watching!
When I’ve been at Derby parties or anywhere where mint juleps are served, I find a lot of people love the idea of a mint julep, but find them a little strong in the bourbon/mint flavors. They’re pretty, of course, but not everyone’s taste. That’s another reason I love this punch version. It mellows out the intensity yet still has the mint and bourbon flavors.
FUN FACT ABOUT MINT JULEPS
Did you know that it takes 7,800 liters of bourbon and 2,250 pounds of locally grown mint to make the roughly 120,000 Mint Juleps sold at Churchill Downs during Kentucky Derby weekend? That’s a LOT of mint juleps!
FROZEN MINT JULEP PUNCH
In my book 4th book, Pizzazzerie: Entertain in Style, I have a very similar frozen version of this mint julep punch that is just fabulous! It’s so refreshing. This non-frozen variety has a few twists, but I LOVE it over crushed ice albeit also delicious frozen.
P.S. Did you know you can buy bags of ice from Sonic? Their ice is the perfect mint julep ice, in my opinion. You can always crush regular cubed ice in a large bag, but if you can find nugget/crushed ice, it’s perfect for this mint julep punch.
What type of bourbon is best for mint julep punch?
Whichever one you have on hand, of course! I don’t think it makes a lot of difference unless it’s a super sweet bourbon, in which case you should pull back on the amount of simple syrup you add to the punch. Any standard bourbon should be just fine! For my punch, I used Four Roses Bourbon.
Serving Mint Julep Punch!
Mint Julep Punch is such a pretty color and perfect for garnishing with lots of fresh fruits so I love to serve them in clear mint julep glasses! Here are the exact glasses I have. I also love to serve margaritas in these glasses. They’re so simple yet pretty!
You can also top your punch with an edible flower! Here are 11 fun uses for edible flowers, if you want to see more!
Can you make mint julep punch ahead of time?
ABSOLUTELY! In fact, I recommend it. Like Sangria, I think it tastes even better when the flavors have time to “marinate” together. You can make it right before serving, however, it’ll taste just fine!
Since mint julep punch is the perfect “make-ahead” pitcher drink, it leaves you as the hostess more time right before guests arrive to do allll the last minute things. You can rest assured your signature Derby cocktail is ready! Just pour over ice when ready to serve!
What to serve with this Derby Punch?
- If you have my latest book (The Southern Entertainer’s Cookbook), be sure to make the Kentucky Hot Brown Bites and Bourbon Balls!
- Mini Pimento BLT Cheddar Biscuits
- Mini Shrimp & Grits
- Pimento Cheese Dip
- Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
How to Make Simple Syrup
The ingredients include simple syrup, but if you have never made simple syrup, fear not! First of all, you can buy it pre-made in the cocktail mixer section of your grocery store, but it’s also a breeze to make. Boil equal parts water and granulated sugar until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool and transfer to a jar or container and store in the refrigerator.
I hope you enjoy this mint julep punch! It’s truly such an easy recipe. It’s perfect for serving up on your grandma’s silver tray and sipping while watching the Kentucky Derby! I always love to have a signature cocktail at my parties, and this one is perfect for the Derby!
Mint Julep Punch
- 1 12-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate thawed and undiluted
- 1 12-ounce can frozen limeade concentrate thawed and undiluted
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup simple syrup
- 2 cups bourbon
- 2 cups water
- 12 sprigs mint
- Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and stir to combine.
- To serve, pour over crushed ice and garnish with extra mint and fresh citrus slices (orange, lime, lemon).
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