Off to the races! 3 spots to celebrate National Mint Julep Day in Birmingham + make your own

The hotter the Birmingham day, the more I crave on these bad boys. Photo by Ari Agustian on Unsplash.

We won’t be headed to Churchill Downs anytime soon, but Birmingham does have killer mint juleps that’ll make you feel like grabbing an oversized sun hat and donning pastel patterns. You know what they say, the shinier the cup the more important you become.

Kentucky’s infamous kin

It’s rumored that the mint julep was once believed to hold medicinal properties and early morning farmers even used it as a substitute for coffee —that’s one way to wake up, right? Even though it originated in Virginia, it’s been the boozy mascot for the Kentucky Derby since 1939.

In 2019, Woodford Reserve bourbon even sold $1,000 Mint Julep Cups—not to worry because each one came with a free mint julep! That’s a far cry from the $12 I spent on hard seltzers at the one, and only, derby I’ve ever been to.

If you want to see the cups for yourself, head to @woodfordreserve on Instagram.

1. The Marble Ring

Something about sipping a mint julep in Birmingham’s favorite speakeasy during 2020 just sits right with me. Head out to their patio for some socially-distant hobnobbery.

  • Where: 430 41st St S suite b, Birmingham, AL 35222
  • Dine-In Hours: Wednesday-Thursday 5-10PM | Friday-Saturday 5-12AM
  • Contact: Call | Facebook | Instagram

2. The Southern Birmingham

The Southern’s take includes a double shot of Basil Hayden Bourbon, fresh basil leaves, fresh lime, agave nectar and soda. If you’re still seeking mint, try The Gentleman made up of Makers Mark sweet tea and fresh mint.

  • Where: 2301 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd N #300, Birmingham, AL 35203
  • Dine-In Hours: Every day, 11AM-8PM
  • Contact: Call | Menu | Facebook | Instagram

3. Test your luck at Collins Bar

The kings and queens of making custom cocktails, there’s no doubt if you ask for a mint julep at Collins they’ll whip up their own spin on the drink.

  • Where: 2125 2nd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203
  • Dine-In Hours: Monday-Thursday 4PM-12AM | Friday-Saturday 4PM-2AM | Sunday 6PM-12AM
  • Contact: Call | Menu | Facebook | Instagram

Make your own using ingredients from Birmingham biz!

Since bourbon is typically the only liquor making an appearance in the mint julep, it’s important to grab quality over quantity. Head to the experts in Birmingham and they’ll point you in the right direction.

The ingredients:

  • 4 to 5 mint sprigs 
  • 2 sugar cubes (or 1/2 ounce simple syrup)
  • 2 1/2 ounces bourbon whiskey (or more, depending on if you have work in the morning
  • Throw a little mint sprig garnish so your insta photo pops off

Where to find Old Forester + more bourbon curbside:

  • LeNell’s Beverage Boutique: Website | 1208 32nd St N, Birmingham, AL 35234
  • The Louis Bar: Instagram | 1821 2nd Ave N Suite 194, Birmingham, AL 35203
  • Paper Doll: Website | 2320 1st Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203

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