Derby Day Mint Julep photo 2014Just watched the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby, in California, sadly, and not at Churchill Downs. But I had my low carb mint julep–in a perfectly sweating silver julep cup–in hand.  With a garden exploding in fresh mint (and, appropriately, red roses) it was hard to quit with just one… so we had another!

Congratulations to California Chrome and the DAP winners!  It was a thrill to watch from wire to wire.

Low Carb Mint Julep
Serves 4


  • 4 ounces (120 ml) sugar free simple syrup (Torani, Davinci or other)
  • 40 fresh mint leaves (plus 4 nice mint ‘tops’ for garnishing)
  • 8 ounces (240 ml) quality bourbon
  • 4 cups (.9 liters) cracked ice


  1. In a pan on the stove, bring about 12 of the mint leaves and the simple syrup to a boil and turn off the heat. Let the mint infuse into the syrup for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain and cool.
  2. In each of 4 rocks glasses (or better silver julep cups) make the cocktails as follows:
    1. Put 7 mint leaves (a lucky number!)
    2. Add 1 ounce (30 ml) of the mint-infused sugar free simple syrup and 2 ounces (60 ml) of the bourbon and muddle well.
    3. Fill the glass with cracked ice and slowly stir to bring the sweet bourbon up to the top and let the ice begin to melt.
    4. Garnish with a mint ‘top’ and serve immediately.



  1. How many carbs are in the “low carb Mint Julep”???

    MDE responds: Essentially none. There may be a hint of useable carb in the Splenda sweetened simple syrup, but not all that much. The rest is good ole bourbon (minimal to zero) and fresh mint that you only consume the essence of, so again, essentially zero.

  2. Dear Mary Dan,

    thank you so much for this lovely recipe. I have made mint juleps for my husband using our mint leaves and muddling them with a little water and splenda as I heated them gently–making a mint flavored sweet concentrate. But I didn’t know the proper method for making the drink. We used to have them in Ybor City, the old cigar making district of Tampa that is now sort of art-sy. I was a seamstress at a vintage clothes shop and some of the sweet girls who clerked there moonlighted as bartenders, and they would make us wonderful drinks when we stopped by their “other job” in the evening. Good memories…


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