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Mint Julep

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Cold. Minty. Heaven. In. A. Cup.

Once April rolls around in Louisville, thoughts turn to the Kentucky Derby and that means something other than just horse racing to the true blue Kentuckian: Mint Juleps, of course.

The Mint Julep is not only a fine Southern tradition, originating in the South during the 18th Century, it’s also been the official drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1938. Today, more than 120,000 Mint Juleps are served at Churchill Downs over Derby weekend at the track. So the drink’s come a long way since Kentucky’s own Henry Clay, while a U.S. Senator, introduced the Mint Julep to Washington, DC at the famous Willard Hotel.

April is officially, “Mint Julep Month” in Louisville. So let’s get this festive occasion off to a refreshing start. Below, you'll find a list of local bars and restaurants that are toasting to this special month by offerring various drinks, desserts and more:

Asiatique – Mint Julep featuring the restaurant’s housemade ginger simple syrup.

The Bakery at Sullivan University – Mint Julep Cupcake (Bourbon chocolate cake with mint icing. $2). Also, Mint Julep Cream Pie (Chocolate Bourbon pastry cream with chocolate curls, fresh mint and mint whipped cream. Whole pie ($16.50); tartlet ($2.50); and mini tart ($1.25).

Bar at BLU – A Chocolate Julep Martini. Also, Bourbon Chocolate Mousse with Crème de Menthe Chantilly Cream and topped with a cherry.

Bourbon Raw – Mint Julep made with Woodford Reserve and strawberry mint simple syrup. Served over crushed ice and garnished with a strawberry slice and mint sprig.

Bourbons Bistro – In honor of Mint Julep Month, the restaurant will offer its Happy Hour price during the month of April. Order up a traditional Mint Julep for $5.

Bristol Bar & Grille (Downtown location) – Three Mint Juleps on special, including: Garden Julep (Muddled fresh herbs of rosemary, mint and basil with Early Times 354 and Drambuie. Served on the rocks. $8); Royal Julep (Evan Williams Bottled in Bond and Benedictine with muddled fresh mint and simple syrup. Served over crushed ice. $9); Ginger Julep Martini (Basil Hayden with a touch of white Crème de Menthe and ginger infused simple syrup chilled and served up. $9.50).

Derby Café at the Kentucky Derby Museum – Mint Julep in an official Kentucky Derby glass. Also, Strawberry Mint Julep Shortcake.

Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar – Two Mint Julep drink specials, including: Near Eastern Julep (Old Grand-Dad Bonded, ginger, Becherovka and basil) and Mint Julep Lemonade (Henry McKenna Single Barrel, lemon juice, sugar and mint). Both are $9.

Down One Bourbon Bar & Restaurant – “Made to Run, Born to Fly” Mint Julep (Michter’s, tea infused Honey Shrub and mint leaves). $10.

Haymarket Whiskey Bar – Cucumber Basil Mint Julep (Knob Creek Single Barrel 120 Proof, housemade cucumber syrup and muddled mint and basil. Served over crushed ice).

Jockey Silks Bourbon Bar – Derby-Pie slices for $5.

North End Café – Old Forester Peach Julep Pancakes (Old Forester Bourbon soaked peaches over Corn Mill pancakes with Bourbon mint syrup and homemade whipped cream). Also, I.W. Harper Blood Julep (Blood orange syrup, brown sugar mint simple syrup with I.W. Harper Bourbon and mint garnish).

O’Shea’s Downtown – Mint Julep Margarita (This take on the classic Mint Julep features Evan Williams Black Label Bourbon, Jose Cuervo Tequila, fresh squeezed lime juice and a housemade mint simple syrup).

Proof on Main – The “Hot to Trot” cocktail by Damien Cooke, who is the winner of the 2016 Four Roses Mint Julep Contest, will be on special at Proof. (Features Four Roses Yellow Label, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, Demerara cayenne syrup, Fernet-Branca and mint leaves).

Seviche – Mint Julep Parfait (Made with bourbon cake, grasshopper pie mousse and mint crema). Also, Kentucky Kombucha Mint Julep (Made with mint syrup, jasmine kombucha and Maker’s Mark).

Sidebar at Whiskey Row – Strawberry Basil Julep (Buffalo Trace, strawberry puree, simple syrup and basil. Garnished with basil and strawberry puree.

Varanese – Four Roses Single Barrel Country Fried Apple Mint Julep.

Vint – Vint Julep (This latte features Bourbon Barrel Foods Bourbon Smoked Sugar and Mint Julep Sugar and peppermint syrup).