Kentucky Derby Gin Julep

This is my lighter version of the mint julep, the quintessential drink of the Kentucky Derby. Regular mint juleps use bourbon whiskey but I try to stay away from dark liquor because it has more impurities than clear and that’s a one-way ticket to hangover city. Subbing in gin instead, makes this version even more light and refreshing.


– 2 ounces gin
– 2 ounces club soda
– 8 fresh mint leaves plus 1 sprig for garnish
– 2 teaspoons honey (heat in microwave for 10 seconds), but you could also use real maple syrup or even molasses to give this drink the darker color of a real mint julep.
– ½ cup crushed ice (crush in a blender so that it’s very fine)

Combine all the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.