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Two sweet tea mint julep cocktails with tea bags in front of them and a pitcher of tea in the background.

Sweet Tea Mint Julep

For the most refreshing bourbon cocktail, it doesn’t get better than this sweet tea mint julep! Classic Southern sweet tea is muddled with fresh mint and mixed with bourbon to make a picnic-perfect drink that's always a crowd pleaser. Whether you’re celebrating the Kentucky Derby or just need a cooling sipper for a night on the patio, this sweet tea bourbon cocktail is great for either occasion.
Course Beverages
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 drink
Calories 213kcal


  • Jigger or small measuring cup
  • Julep cup
  • Muddler
  • Bar spoon
  • Metal straw


  • 8-10 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 4 ounces sweet tea store-bought or homemade (see notes for homemade directions)
  • Crushed ice
  • Fresh mint sprig for garnish
  • Lemon wheel or slice for garnish


  • Add mint leaves and bourbon to a julep cup. Muddle to release the mint oil.
  • Pour in the sweet tea and fill the glass halfway with crushed ice. Stir to chill and melt some of the ice. Fill the rest of the glass with more crushed ice, forming a mound at the top.
  • Place a mint sprig in the palm of your hand. Quickly clap over the mint with the other hand to release its fragrance. Garnish with the mint and lemon. Serving with a straw is recommended. Enjoy!



Sweet tea directions: Add ½ cup sugar to a pitcher and set aside one family-size or four individual-size tea bags. Boil 2 cups water in a tea kettle. Pour the boiling water into the pitcher with the sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the tea bags and steep for five to 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags and taste. If you'd like a sweeter tea, add more sugar to taste (though I find ½ cup sugar is plenty). Pour in 2 cups of cold water. Store in the refrigerator.
Eight-serving pitcher directions: Add the leaves of about eight to 10 full mint sprigs (not just the leaves) to a pitcher. Measure 2 cups bourbon and pour in about ½ cup. Muddle the mint in the bourbon and then pour in the rest of the bourbon. (Alternatively, if you plan to make your own tea, you can add the mint sprigs to the sugar, and the hot water will extract the mint flavor on its own without mudding.) Pour in 1 quart of sweet tea. Store in the refrigerator. 
  • Don’t let tea steep too long. Otherwise, it can turn bitter. Five to 10 minutes is all you need.
  • You want crushed ice, not cubed ice, for a mint julep. The ice melts over time to make it extra refreshing. You can buy a large bag of crushed ice from Sonic, which is great for parties. 
  • Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Serving: 1drink | Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 141mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 340IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg