The Best Mint Julep Cups

There Are Two Parties Coming Up Where You Can Use A Julep Cup

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This year there are two big parties on the same day.  May 5th is Cinco de Mayo and the 144th Running of the Roses.  It’s safe to say, it’s also a pretty big day for julep cups!

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Motivational Monday

Better Get Ready!

80 Years Of Mint Julep Cups At The Kentucky Derby

(Yes, they have not been a thing the whole time!)

gettyimages- mint juleps

The word “julep” derives from the ancient Persian gulab, used to denote a sort of sweetened rosewater (if you’ve ever had gulab jamun at an Indian restaurant, it’s made with just such a syrup). In classical Arabic, the word became julab, only to cross over into Latin as julapium.

The Running Of The Roses “Touch”

“We have candied rose petals, actual rose petals that we’ve soaked in sugar water.  So we’re going to put some rose petals in the cup, a little bit of mint, muddle that together. The ice we’re using has been made from rose water. … It has the mint, but now it has the rose hint to it.”-Churchill Downs

Would You Spend Thousands On A Mint Julep

This year, the folks at Woodford Reserve, one of Kentucky’s most highly-regarded bourbons, are hawking mint juleps for $1,000 and $2,000 a pop that will come in specialty julep cups and commemorative boxes made of oak from bourbon barrels.

Think not?  How about on this Motivational Monday we show you how to get your cup and have enough left over to throw one heck of a Derby or Cinco party this year, and next year and the year after that!

Julep Cups

You’ve heard the saying “born with a silver spoon in your mouth”?  Well in Kentucky it’s not a spoon.  It’s an engraved silver julep cup!  The more you have to polish it the better the silver.  In the design business we’ve used this for nearly everything but drinking bourbon from.  By the way, we are not giving a recipe for the traditional Mint Julep because everyone argues what is the “right” way to make one.  You can ask Google who is now the all omnipotent on juleps we are sure!

EBTH Silver Mint Julep Cups
Family Heirlooms

If you are at the actual Derby, you will no doubt have your second julep in the commemorative derby glass.  (you can pour it into the silver cup you smuggled in and look really chic)  In my opinion, derby glasses are historically ugly.  My father-in-law sold them and we had to store all the leftovers for years.  Loved it when the declutter craze started and I had plenty to hold and grin as I said over and over…”you do not bring me joy”!  This years looks pretty classy tho so I will have to eat these words I am sure.

Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Glass
At The Downs Julep Glass

Next we have what we call the “cheater” julep cup.  It’s silver plate and does not tarnish as bad.  Be careful showing off your beauty to anyone with their smudged monogrammed cup…they simply won’t understand.

silver plate mint julep cups
Almost The Real Thing

Silver Plate Julep Cups

“The purpose of the cups isn’t immediately clear to most drinkers because they are holding them wrong.  Julep cups should only be held by the top or the bottom so that the crushed ice inside them can create a frost on the outside.”

My turn to be a julep cup snob.  I’ll take on any initial cup with this beauty.  There is just something about polished nickel in cups, faucets, hardware and lighting fixtures just to get back to design for a bit.

Nickel Plate Mint Julep Cup beaded
Our Favorite!

Nickel Plate Beaded Julep Cup

Next, let’s talk about the color of bourbon.  It’s exquisite.  Seems a shame to hide it in a silver cup.  Teddy Roosevelt thought so too.

Bourbon on the rocks


Theodore Roosevelt Julep Glasses
Ted’s Choice

Glass Julep Cups

Fake It Till You Make It Julep Cups

Or, if you are like most Derby Party hosts, you have too many friends to give everyone a silver, nickel or glass julep cup.  Here are two pretty savvy “reproductions” that will be just as much fun.  Heck, these and a sharpie and you can charge a monogram fee!

Plastic Silver Rim Julep Cup
A Universal Party Cup!

Plastic With Silver Flair Julep Cups

Plastic "Silver" Mint Julep Cups
Classy Fun!

Similar Plastic “Silver” Julep Cups

What To Drink If You Don’t Care For A Mint Julep

Time for total honesty from this Kentucky (transplanted) gal…I do not care for mint juleps.  I’ve been encouraged to drink several and then told I’d like them.  Ha!  Instead I have a better plan.  I’ll be using my julep cup of choice for this pretty, and proven delicious cinco de mayo drink.   Click on the link below to learn all about it from our friend at Broma Bakery.  Her blog is full of the most amazing food and beverage photos!

Broma Bakery Spicy-Passionfruit-Margarita-

Broma Bakery and Cinco de Mayo


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