If you’re looking for a refreshing drink to enjoy on a hot day, look no further than the Virgin Mint Julep. This recipe is made with alcohol free whiskey, so it’s perfect for those who don’t want to drink alcohol. Plus, it’s super easy to make!
Virgin Mint Julep
- 2.5 oz Spiritless Kentucky 74
- .5 oz simple syrup (1:1 sugar:water)
- 4-6 fresh mint leaves
- Julep cup
- Bar spoon
- Measure and combine simple syrup and mint into a julep cup and muddle.
- Add Kentucky 74.
- Fill with crushed ice and stir.
- Garnish with a plump mint sprig and serve with a straw.
- This Virgin Mint Julep recipe can also be made with other non-alcoholic whiskeys, but Spiritless Kentucky 74 tasted the best out of the tested options
- Use a glass or stainless straw for a classy presentation
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Mint Julep Traditions
The history of the mint julep stretches back to when British colonists landed in the American south. The traditional mint julep is made with bourbon whiskey, simple syrup, and fresh mint leaves.
It’s served in a frosted silver or pewter cup that keeps the drink cool for longer. This sweet but stout cocktail has become the official drink of the Kentucky Derby.
Ingredients in a Non-Alcoholic Mint Julep
Non-alcoholic whiskey is a beverage made to taste like alcoholic whiskey in cocktails. In the case of the non-alcoholic mint julep, this is mostly true.
Spiritless Kentucky 74 was founded in Kentucky as the first non-alcoholic bourbon whiskey. With Spiritless Kentucky 74 as the base, this mint julep is not exactly a flavor copy of the cocktail with alcohol, but there is an “essence of” whiskey flavor about it.
Fresh Mint Leaves
Grab the best looking mint at the grocery store and use as soon as possible. Mint is infamous for turning brown quickly in the fridge, and you want your mocktail presentation to be impressive.
Mix equal parts sugar and warm water, then let it chill in the fridge. Making mint syrup is another option, if you’ll want to enjoy mocktails with mint and simple syrup over the course of a week. That way you don’t have to worry about your mint getting brown.
Best Ice for Mint Juleps
Crushed ice is the best type of ice for mint juleps. If your fridge doesn’t make quality crushed ice, you can use a crushed ice mold (link to Amazon).
How to Make a Virgin Mint Julep
The mint julep is a really easy mocktail becuase it only has three ingredients – even easier if you already have simple syrup stored in the refrigerator.
The steps are simple: Measure simple syrup and place it in a julep cup. Add washed mint leaves. Lightly muddle the mint, only enough to release the aromas, but don’t pulverize it!
Add non-alcoholic whiskey, ice, then stir. Top with your best looking mint sprig, and serve with a straw.
Other Variations of the Traditional Julep that You Can Try!
Strawberry Mint Julep – muddle a couple of strawberries in with the mint when building your beverage
Lemon Mint Julep Mocktail – add some fresh lemon juice to the mix and it will taste somewhere in between a mint julep and an alcohol free whiskey sour
What does Mint Julep taste like?
This virgin mint julep tastes like mint tea, with a hint of smoky oak flavor (from the non-alc whiskey).
Does a julep cup have to be silver?
Julep cups were originally made of silver, but many people make stainless steel versions today. However, the Southern tradition of using gifting silver julep cups is still widely popular, and in the South, you better be careful about breaking tradition!