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  • Writer's pictureThe Wild Foodie

Exploring the Mint Julep: A Refreshing Classic with British Wild Mint Varieties

When it comes to iconic cocktails, few can rival the timeless allure of the Mint Julep. Originating from the Southern United States, this refreshing concoction has become synonymous with summer, horse races, and a touch of old-world charm. Traditionally made with bourbon, sugar, water, and fresh mint, we will delve deeper into this delightful libation and explore a tantalising twist by incorporating various types of British wild mint.

Wild Mint Julep Recipe
Wild Mint Julep

The Rich History of the Mint Julep

The Mint Julep traces its roots back to the 18th century when it was first enjoyed as a medicinal elixir. The drink's popularity soared, and by the 19th century, it became a symbol of hospitality and elegance, particularly associated with the Kentucky Derby. This classic cocktail continues to captivate both enthusiasts and novices alike.

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Unleashing the British Wild Mint's Aromatic Flavour

While spearmint is the most commonly used variety for Mint Juleps, we can elevate this drink by using a combination of round-leaved mint, water mint, and spear mint. These British wild mint varieties add unique flavours and aromas, infusing the cocktail with a distinct regional twist and a little more complexity.

Round-Leaved Mint

With its slightly spicy undertones and a hint of citrus, round-leaved mint brings a vibrant and refreshing flavour to the Mint Julep. Its distinctive taste adds a touch of complexity to the cocktail, making it an enticing choice for the adventurous palate.

Water Mint

Water mint offers a cool and invigorating aroma reminiscent of fresh peppermint. Its refreshing qualities lend a revitalising burst to the Mint Julep, providing a delightful contrast to the richness of the bourbon. Water mint's presence adds depth and intrigue to this classic drink.

Spear Mint

Spear mint, with its robust and sharp flavour, is a quintessential component in a Mint Julep. Its assertive notes mingle harmoniously with the other ingredients, creating a well-balanced cocktail with a clean and refreshing finish. Spear mint is widely available and widely used in cocktail making.

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British Wild Mint Julep Recipe


60 ml bourbon

30 ml simple syrup

8-10 leaves of round-leaved mint, water mint, and spear mint (combined)

Crushed ice

Mint sprig (for garnish)


In a glass or julep cup, gently muddle the leaves of round-leaved mint, water mint, and spear mint to release their essential oils and flavours.

Add the simple syrup to the glass and continue to muddle briefly, ensuring the mint essence is well incorporated.

Fill the glass or julep cup with crushed ice.

Pour the bourbon over the ice and stir gently to combine the ingredients and chill the drink.

Top with additional crushed ice, forming a mound above the rim of the glass.

Garnish with a sprig of wild mint, lightly tapped to release its aroma.

Insert a straw into the ice, allowing the flavours to evolve as you sip through it.

Enjoy this British wild mint-infused Mint Julep and savour the harmonious flavours.

Summing up

The Mint Julep is a classic cocktail that has stood the test of time, delighting drinkers with its refreshing nature. By incorporating wild mint varieties like round-leaved mint, water mint, and spear mint, you can add a distinct regional twist to this timeless libation.

Experiment with these aromatic herbs, unleash your creativity, and embark on a delightful journey of taste. Cheers to the Mint Julep and its ability to captivate our senses with the vibrant flavours of wild mint!

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