With less than two weeks to the Kentucky Derby, it definitely seemed like a good time to put together a tasty variation on the classic Mint Julep… And we weren’t the only ones who thought so. Maker’s Mark is hosting a “Julep Off” contest for bloggers and we thought we’d throw our (giant, floppy) hat in the ring!

Our Mint Julep

This variation isn’t far from the original, because quite frankly, the Julep is a fantastic drink that needs no revision. But since we happened to have a bottle of Fernet Brancamenta, it seemed like a simple way to increase the complexity of the drink while reinforcing its (tasty) minty backbone. In short – this is a classic Julep, but we’ve added a bit of BrancaMenta and reduced the Simple Syrup to compensate.

So… How is it?

As expected, it’s great! The brancamenta is both sweet and earthy, and adds a botanical, minty backbone to the drink. It’s not overpowering, but definitely adds a little more complexity. I’ll definitely keep this variation on my short list!

Mint Julep

The Mint Julep

This is a slight variation on the traditional Mint Julep cocktail, using a touch of Fernet Branca Menta to kick up the mint and add a botanical undertone.
5 from 1 vote
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  • 1 1/2 oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon
  • 1/2 oz Fernet Branca Menta
  • 10 leaves Mint
  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup


  • “Spank” the mint in the palm of your hand and drop it into a Julep cup
  • Add all other ingredients and fill the cup halfway with crushed ice
  • Stir for 10-15 seconds
  • Fill to the top with crushed ice
  • Stir for 10 more seconds, or until a frost forms on the outside of the cup
  • Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint