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How to Batch a Mint Julep Recipe for a Party

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three mint juleps in copper julep cups
Classic Mint Julep

Let’s talk about how to batch a Mint Julep recipe for a party. You’ve found the PERFECT Mint Julep recipe for your party, but you don’t want to spend the whole afternoon and evening muddling through julep after julep for your guests. The easiest solution is to pre-batch the juleps so all you need to do is pour them into a crushed ice-filled cup and garnish.

My trick for batching juleps is simple. Convert ounces to cups (does not include bitters) and infuse the syrup with mint. This does two things. It makes 8-10 juleps at once, and it keeps you from having to muddle each and every julep. Since these are juleps you’ll serve over crushed ice, you don’t even have to worry about adding water for dilution because the ice will quickly chill and dilute the julep.

For a very easy method to batch any cocktail – especially spirit forward ones made with bourbon, check out the Easiest Method Ever to Batch a Cocktail for a Party.

What You’ll Need to Know Beforehand

Before you start batching you need to know how many juleps you’ll need. And what recipe you want to use.

If I’m having guests, I’ll make enough batches that each guest can have at least two juleps. That means that for 20 guests I’ll make 40 juleps. Since each of these easy batches will make 8-10 juleps, I’ll make 4-5 batches.

In addition, choose your recipe. When batching a julep, you can keep it easy, and use a classic julep recipe, with just simple syrup and bourbon, or you can add flavors with fruit syrups, liqueurs, bitters or different herbs. At the end of the article I have a list of some of my favorite juleps to have around Derby and in the summer.

Juleps are best with fresh, vibrant herbs, but you don’t have to stick to the classic combination of mint. Basil, sage, lavender, verbena and thyme all make wonderful, surprising juleps. I often head out to my back yard to see what’s in season to determine what herbs I’ll add to my cocktails.

But let’s get to batching.

Step one: Infuse the syrup with mint

credit via getty images via Canva by Mathja

As you make your simple syrup, whether plain simple or a fruit/flavored simple, just as you get ready to take the syrup off the heat, add in about a half cup of mint leaves per cup of water added. Stir, then take the syrup off the heat and let the leaves steep until the syrup cools completely.

Doing this infuses your syrup with your mint, so you don’t have to muddle each and every julep. You can do the same with any herb you would use in a julep.

For mint infused syrup, I use the recipe

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

Add the sugar and water to a sauce pan over medium heat until combined. Once the syrup starts to steam, add the mint and remove from heat. Let cool completely. Strain and store in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.

For fruit infused juleps, I use a base recipe similar to this and tweak it according to how

  • 1 pint fresh fruit, cut or chopped (berries and stone fruits do best with this)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

Add the sugar, water and fruit to a sauce pan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved the fruit has started to break down. Add the mint, stir and remove from heat. Let cool completely. Strain and store in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.

If you prefer not to make a fruit syrup from scratch, consider adding in a combination of simple syrup and additional flavored spirits or liqueurs.

Step 2: Mix the Mint Juleps in bottles

Fresh lemonades in beverage dispensers

Get out an empty liquor bottle and your measuring cups. Convert ounces to cups and pour ingredients in the empty bourbon bottles. If the cocktail has bitters, multiple by 4 (not 8) for the total number of dashes or drops.

For example: 

  • A classic recipe of 2 cups bourbon and 1/2 cup simple syrup becomes 2 cups of bourbon and 1/2 cup mint-infused simple syrup. 
  • If you’re doing a recipe like the Chocolate Mint Julep, it converts to 2 cups bourbon, 1/2 cup Ballotin Chocolate Whiskey or creme de cacao, and 8-10 dashes of chocolate bitters. 
  • If you’re doing a recipe like a blackberry basil julep, you’ll add 1.5 cups of bourbon, 1/2 cup blackberry basil syrup, and 1/2 cup blackberry whiskey to an empty whiskey bottle.

Shake the bottle and refrigerate well before serving. These can be made up to a week in advance.

Step 3: Chill well and prepare your garnish

credit getty imgas via canva bhofack2

Chill the julep for at least 4 hours if not overnight. On the day of the party, wash and cut mint sprigs to use as garnish. If you’re also adding fresh fruit or fun cookies to garnish, set those out as well, just before the party. 

Make sure to get large quantities of crushed ice for your juleps, and metal cups if you can – that keeps the juleps extra cold!

If guests are pouring their own juleps, add a fun label or tag to the bottle so they know which julep they’re pouring. 

If you’re serving everyone, just make sure you have plenty of ice and garnish at hand before guests arrive. 

Step 4: Serve and garnish

Strawberry mint julep - 2 in silver mint julep cups with mint and strawberry garnish
Strawberry Mint Julep

Once you batch your mint julep, all you need to do is serve the cocktail.

Each mint julep serving is 2.5 oz of the prepared batch. Pour that into an crushed ice or nugget ice-filled julep cup and top with a mint sprig, straw, and any other flavor-related garnish.

For more tips and tricks for a perfect mint julep, see my article here.

Other Julep Recipes You Will Enjoy

Did you try it? I love getting unsolicited DRINK pics from you when you try out a cocktail. Send them along to me on social media. Join me on my social channels at @cocktail_contessa on Instagram and Cocktail Contessa on Facebook and use the hashtags #cocktailcontessa and #bourbonismycomfortfood.

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By on April 9th, 2022
Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktail

About Heather Wibbels

Heather Wibbels is a whiskey enthusiast (Executive Bourbon Steward, no less) with a passion for cocktails. She loves researching and designing cocktails, drinking cocktails, and teaching cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location

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6 thoughts on “How to Batch a Mint Julep Recipe for a Party”

  1. Great article! I love a julep in the summer. Got your book and it’s a visual delight, in addition to all the information.
    And, you have a new title to boot. Good going.

    Reply
    • I prefer peppermint, and chocolate mint at that, but use what you prefer. It’s more important to me that you use fresh mint that’s really vibrant than one particular flavor of mint. I also have apple mine and pineapple mint in my garden bed and I tend to use whatever is freshest!

      Reply
      • Thank you for your reply!
        I prefer peppermint, too, but I know others who say a “real” mint julep should be spearmint. Yes, fresh is the only way to go.
        Just wondered what your thoughts were on this.

        Reply
  2. Can you make a base mint julep that can have alcohol added to it later or keep it virgin?
    I need to make a large batch that needs to accomodate children and non-drinkers also.

    Reply

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