Hosting a Derby Day party this year? Send your guests home with a DIY mint julep kit! I got the idea from Pizzazzerie’s gorgeous Entertain in Style book, and I couldn’t wait to share it with y’all. To get started, fill a faux silver julep cup with green crinkle paper. Then, top with a mini bottle of Kentucky bourbon (fun fact– Woodford Reserve is the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby) and a mini bottle of homemade mint simple syrup (recipe below). Finally, add in a fun straw and a drink stirrer or two, and for the pièce de résistance, finish with a ribbon bow tie on the cup. Lastly, display on your bar cart or party table as guests leave, so they know to take one home with them!
Keep reading for the mint simple syrup recipe. In the meantime, here’s a shopping checklist for assembling your mint julep kits:
- Faux Silver Julep Cups
- Green Crinkle Paper
- Mini Bottles of Bourbon
- Mini Bottles of Homemade Mint Simple Syrup (I originally ordered these, but Amazon decided to take two weeks to deliver them, so I ran to Hobby Lobby and grabbed slightly larger bottles instead)
- Green Paper Straws
- Derby Stirrers (I made these by spray painting these horse figurines silver and drilling a hole to insert these plastic stirrers— tutorial coming shortly!)
- Ribbon Bow Ties (I’m not the best at tying pretty bows, so I found these at Hobby Lobby)
Homemade Mint Simple Syrup
This homemade mint simple syrup is ridiculously easy to make. All you need is roughly 25 stalks of mint, 2 cups of sugar, and 2 cups of water. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool slightly–for around 10 minutes. Then, pour over the mint, and let sit (refrigerated) in a jug or empty clean liquor bottle for 24 hours. Finally, pour the syrup through a strainer to remove mint leaves and refrigerate in an airtight container until you need to use it. When you’re ready to party, fill up your mini bottles, slap on some labels, and add them to your mint julep gift sets.
- 25-30 stalks of mint
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Pour over mint and let set, refrigerated, for 24 hours.
- Pour the solution through a strainer and refrigerate in an airtight container until needed.
I’ll be publishing my favorite frozen mint julep cocktail recipe in the next few days, so keep an eye out! Also, if you’ve got no idea what to wear to the Kentucky Derby and/or any Derby Day festivities, check out this Derby Day Style Guide. Hope it helps!