Mint Julep with an Italian Twist

I like to think of bourbon as putting on its summer outfit with the mint julep, the warm weather libation that gets its kickoff with the running of the Kentucky Derby (where it has been the traditional beverage for nearly a century). And I love how a little Italian Limoncello elevates this drink.

Although you are welcome to make a fuss over your julep, you don’t have to. You need a good bourbon, fresh mint, a little elbow grease to muddle the herbs, and nice splash of Limoncello to balance the sweetness and bring it all together. You can and should adjust quantities based on how sweet, minty, and bourbon-y you like your drink. The most important thing is to enjoy it.

By the way, did you know there’s a Jewish connection to the history of bourbon? For more on this, see my article for The Jewish Food Experience.

Italian-Twist Mint Julep

For one drink. For a nice touch, put glasses in the freezer before making drinks.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktails, Drinks
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 1


  • 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • teaspoons cold water
  • Crushed ice
  • 2 ounces bourbon (or to taste)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Limoncello


  • Place mint, sugar, and water in a glass. Muddle until sugar is dissolved. Fill with crushed ice and pour about 2 ounces bourbon over top. Stir well, and top with a splash of Limoncello and garnish with a couple of nice mint leaves.
  • If you like, you can add a little club soda for pizazz.
Keyword Bourbon, Limoncello


Recipe Rating


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.