The origins are unclear, but the following is known for certain: it originated in the southern United States, probably during the eighteenth century, and its first printed appearance was in a book by John Davis, published in London in 1803. He described it as a "dram of spirituous liquor that has mint in it, taken of Virginians in the morning." The Mint Julep (using Woodford Reserve) is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, where thousands are sold on Derby Day.
12 mint leaves
1 splash of simple syrup
2 cups crushed ice
2.5 oz Woodford Reserve bourbon
1 splash of soda water
Fresh mint sprig, for garnish
In a highball glass or silver Julep cup, add mint leaves and simple syrup and slightly muddle. Next, add crushed ice, top with bourbon and a splash of soda water. Stir well and garnish with a mint sprig.