Although it's been a Southern specialty since the 1700's, these days Julep is most famously associated with the Kentucky Derby. You may not see them all served in an icy julep cup while sitting at Churchill Downs, but they're the drink of choice. And if you want to serve it right, and enjoy it as it best should be, then friends, serve it in one of these beauties!
The original julep was surprisingly stiff: three ounces of liquor, often rum or French cognac, with mint and sugar dumped over ice. For the Derby, though, you'll want to abide by local sensibilities and use bourbon or rye only. Here's one tried and true recipe for Mint Julep's you'll want to enjoy time and time again.
Place 5 or 6 leaves of mint in the bottom of a prechilled, dry 12-ounce glass or silver beaker. Add sugar and crush slightly with a muddler. Pack glass with finely cracked ice. Pour a generous 3 ounces of Kentucky bourbon over the ice. Stir briskly until the glass frosts. Add more ice and stir again before serving. Stick a few sprigs of mint into the ice so that the partaker will get the aroma.
Still not enough mint flavor? Try this: For each julep, lightly cover about 10 sprigs of mint with superfine sugar, add an ounce of spring water, macerate, let stand for 10-15 minutes, and strain through a fine sieve into the ice-filled glass. Then add whiskey and proceed as above. If you'll stoop to maceration, you might also want to float 1/2 ounce of dark Jamaica rum on top.