Rum Julep Cocktail Drink

Rum Julep

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley

This Rum Julep recipe is your ticket to a flavorful spring cocktail! It’s an easy-to-make drink that bursts with deliciousness.

Rum Julep Recipe

Enjoy spring with this straightforward Rum Julep recipe! It combines dark rum, cane sugar, Angostura Bitters, and fresh mint for a revitalizing cocktail.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

2 minutes

Servings:

1

Calories:

174 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Dark Rum
  • 6-8 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cane sugar cube
  • 5 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 1 dash soda water
  • Crushed ice
  • Mint sprig & icing sugar, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Julep Cup or Old Fashioned Glass
  • Muddler
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Bar spoon or long stirrer
  • Straw

Instructions

  • Add Sugar Cube: Place 1 cane sugar cube in your Julep cup or Old Fashioned glass.
  • Add Bitters: Pour 5 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters over the sugar cube.
  • Add Soda Water: Measure and add 1 dash soda water on the sugar cube as well.
  • Muddle: Muddle the sugar cube to reduce it to powder and make sure it will fully dissolve later on.
  • Add Mint: Place 6-8 fresh mint leaves in one hand and gently smack it with the other, to release its aromas. Add the mint to the Julep cup or Old Fashioned glass.
  • Add Dark Rum: Measure and pour 2 oz Dark Rum into the glass.
  • Add Ice: Fill the glass three-quarters full with crushed ice.
  • Stir: Using a bar spoon or long stirrer, churn well to combine the ingredients.
  • Add Ice: Add a straw and top up with more crushed ice.
  • Garnish: Place a mint sprig into the glass and sprinkle some icing sugar on top for garnish. Serve immediately.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Dark Rum: If you don't have dark rum, you can use bourbon for a classic Mint Julep. You could also try spiced rum for a different flavor profile.
  • Sugar Cube: If you don’t have sugar cubes, you can use simple syrup instead (approx. ¾ oz/22 ml, feel free to adjust to taste).
  • Angostura Bitters: If you don’t have Angostura bitters on hand or if you want to experiment with a different twist, you can use other types of old-fashioned aromatic bitters. For a result that’s close to the original cocktail, try to choose bitters that are heavy on spices (such as clove and cinnamon) and low on sugar. 
  • Mint Leaves: If fresh mint isn't available, you can try using a few drops of mint extract. Be careful, though; it's potent stuff!

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Dark Rum Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic dark rum substitute; these are available in the market and do a good job mimicking the flavor of dark rum. If you’re feeling crafty, you can also make your own dark rum substitute by infusing together rooibos tea and a bunch of spices of your liking (vanilla, cinnamon, clove, allspice and banana are always a good way to start). Mix all the ingredients together, add hot water, cover and let it infuse for at least 3h (the stronger the better, so if you have time let it infuse overnight. In that case, you can either let it rest in the fridge once the liquid has cooled down). Give it a taste, adjust the spice level if necessary, and strain it once you’re happy with the result. Stored properly (in an airtight container in the fridge), this “tea-rum” can be kept for up to a week.
  • Angostura Bitters: You can add a drop of cinnamon and/or clove essence to your drink or substitute the sugar with cinnamon syrup to mimic the spicy kick of the bitters. Also, note that a few dashes of bitter in an otherwise alcohol-free drink won’t raise the overall ABV of the drink. The drink will indeed chemically contain a drop of alcohol, but won’t make you intoxicated at all. Depending on your reason for not drinking alcohol and your degree of tolerance on the topic, you can choose to omit the bitters or include them in your preparation.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular rum & bitters, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.
However, keep in mind that, as the Rum Julep cocktail is solely made out of alcoholic ingredients, it can be hard to recreate its flavor using only non-alcoholic substitutes; the overall flavor and mouthfeel will probably change greatly from the original drink. In order to make the perfect mocktail version of this drink, you may have to revise the quantity of each ingredient depending on the specific substitute you decide to use.

Making it Vegan:

The Rum Julep cocktail is naturally vegan as it doesn't contain any animal products. Most spirits, including dark rum, are vegan-friendly. However, some brands may use animal products in their production process, especially if a filtration process is involved. Always check the brand's website or contact them directly to ensure their products are vegan.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
174
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.02
g
0
%
Sodium
 
1
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
7
g
2
%
Fiber
 
0.02
g
0
%
Sugar
 
6
g
7
%
Potassium
 
3
mg
0
%
Protein
 
0.01
g
0
%
Vitamin A
 
13
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
0.1
mg
0
%
Calcium
 
1
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.04
mg
0
%

 

Rum Julep Cocktail Drink

Rum Julep Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Enjoy spring with this straightforward Rum Julep recipe! It combines dark rum, cane sugar, Angostura Bitters, and fresh mint for a revitalizing cocktail.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 2 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 174

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Dark Rum
  • 6-8 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cane sugar cube
  • 5 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 1 dash soda water
  • Crushed ice
  • Mint sprig & icing sugar - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Julep Cup or Old Fashioned Glass
  • Muddler
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Bar spoon or long stirrer
  • Straw

Instructions

  • Add Sugar Cube: Place 1 cane sugar cube in your Julep cup or Old Fashioned glass.
  • Add Bitters: Pour 5 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters over the sugar cube.
  • Add Soda Water: Measure and add 1 dash soda water on the sugar cube as well.
  • Muddle: Muddle the sugar cube to reduce it to powder and make sure it will fully dissolve later on.
  • Add Mint: Place 6-8 fresh mint leaves in one hand and gently smack it with the other, to release its aromas. Add the mint to the Julep cup or Old Fashioned glass.
  • Add Dark Rum: Measure and pour 2 oz Dark Rum into the glass.
  • Add Ice: Fill the glass three-quarters full with crushed ice.
  • Stir: Using a bar spoon or long stirrer, churn well to combine the ingredients.
  • Add Ice: Add a straw and top up with more crushed ice.
  • Garnish: Place a mint sprig into the glass and sprinkle some icing sugar on top for garnish. Serve immediately.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Dark Rum: If you don't have dark rum, you can use bourbon for a classic Mint Julep. You could also try spiced rum for a different flavor profile.
  • Sugar Cube: If you don’t have sugar cubes, you can use simple syrup instead (approx. ¾ oz/22 ml, feel free to adjust to taste).
  • Angostura Bitters: If you don’t have Angostura bitters on hand or if you want to experiment with a different twist, you can use other types of old-fashioned aromatic bitters. For a result that’s close to the original cocktail, try to choose bitters that are heavy on spices (such as clove and cinnamon) and low on sugar. 
  • Mint Leaves: If fresh mint isn't available, you can try using a few drops of mint extract. Be careful, though; it's potent stuff!

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Dark Rum Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic dark rum substitute; these are available in the market and do a good job mimicking the flavor of dark rum. If you’re feeling crafty, you can also make your own dark rum substitute by infusing together rooibos tea and a bunch of spices of your liking (vanilla, cinnamon, clove, allspice and banana are always a good way to start). Mix all the ingredients together, add hot water, cover and let it infuse for at least 3h (the stronger the better, so if you have time let it infuse overnight. In that case, you can either let it rest in the fridge once the liquid has cooled down). Give it a taste, adjust the spice level if necessary, and strain it once you’re happy with the result. Stored properly (in an airtight container in the fridge), this “tea-rum” can be kept for up to a week.
  • Angostura Bitters: You can add a drop of cinnamon and/or clove essence to your drink or substitute the sugar with cinnamon syrup to mimic the spicy kick of the bitters. Also, note that a few dashes of bitter in an otherwise alcohol-free drink won’t raise the overall ABV of the drink. The drink will indeed chemically contain a drop of alcohol, but won’t make you intoxicated at all. Depending on your reason for not drinking alcohol and your degree of tolerance on the topic, you can choose to omit the bitters or include them in your preparation.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular rum & bitters, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.
However, keep in mind that, as the Rum Julep cocktail is solely made out of alcoholic ingredients, it can be hard to recreate its flavor using only non-alcoholic substitutes; the overall flavor and mouthfeel will probably change greatly from the original drink. In order to make the perfect mocktail version of this drink, you may have to revise the quantity of each ingredient depending on the specific substitute you decide to use.

Making it Vegan:

The Rum Julep cocktail is naturally vegan as it doesn't contain any animal products. Most spirits, including dark rum, are vegan-friendly. However, some brands may use animal products in their production process, especially if a filtration process is involved. Always check the brand's website or contact them directly to ensure their products are vegan.

What is a Rum Julep?

A Rum Julep is a rum-based cocktail made of dark rum, sugar, Angostura Bitters, fresh mint leaves and crushed ice.  The Rum Julep is a variant of the classic Mint Julep, which traditionally uses bourbon instead of rum.

A side shot of a Rum Julep cocktail in a julep cup on a white coaster placed on a white surface surrounded by a jigger, a bar spoon and a bowl with mint leaves, in front of a green background

What is a Rum Julep made of – The ingredients

A Rum Julep can be made using these ingredients:

  • Dark Rum: The cocktail’s base spirit provides a rich and robust flavor.
  • Mint leaves: Add a refreshing and aromatic touch to the drink.
  • Sugar Cube: Balances the whiskey’s strength with sweetness.
  • Angostura Bitters: Adds complexity with its blend of spices and herbs, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the cocktail.
  • Crushed ice: Chills the drink and dilutes the ingredients for a smoother taste.
  • Mint sprig (for garnish): Enhances presentation and adds a hint of mint aroma upon serving.

Dark Rum, mint leaves, sugar cubes, Angostura aromatic bitters, and soda water laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a Rum Julep?

Use our comprehensive guide to make your very own Rum Julep:

1
<p>Place a cane sugar cube in your Julep cup or Old Fashioned glass. The sugar cube brings a touch of sweetness that balances the strong flavors of the rum and bitters.</p>

Place a cane sugar cube in your Julep cup or Old Fashioned glass. The sugar cube brings a touch of sweetness that balances the strong flavors of the rum and bitters.

2
<p>Pour 5 dashes of Angostura bitters over the sugar cube. The bitters add a complex and aromatic note that complements the sweetness and minty flavor.</p>

Pour 5 dashes of Angostura bitters over the sugar cube. The bitters add a complex and aromatic note that complements the sweetness and minty flavor.

3
<p>Measure and pour a bar spoon of soda water on the sugar cube as well. It will help to dissolve the sugar further and add a slight effervescence to the drink.</p>

Measure and pour a bar spoon of soda water on the sugar cube as well. It will help to dissolve the sugar further and add a slight effervescence to the drink.

4
<p>Muddle the sugar cube to reduce it to powder and make sure it will fully dissolve later on. This step ensures the sugar integrates well with the other ingredients, providing a smooth sweetness throughout the cocktail.</p>

Muddle the sugar cube to reduce it to powder and make sure it will fully dissolve later on. This step ensures the sugar integrates well with the other ingredients, providing a smooth sweetness throughout the cocktail.

5
<p>Place 6-8 mint leaves in one hand and gently smack it with the other to release its aromas.</p>

Place 6-8 mint leaves in one hand and gently smack it with the other to release its aromas.

6
<p>Add the mint to the Julep cup or Old Fashioned glass. The mint leaves provide a fresh and aromatic herbal flavor that is essential to the julep.</p>

Add the mint to the Julep cup or Old Fashioned glass. The mint leaves provide a fresh and aromatic herbal flavor that is essential to the julep.

7
<p>Measure and pour 2 ounces of dark rum into the glass. Dark rum is preferred for its rich, full-bodied flavor, but you can use light rum with a milder taste.</p>

Measure and pour 2 ounces of dark rum into the glass. Dark rum is preferred for its rich, full-bodied flavor, but you can use light rum with a milder taste.

8
<p>Fill the glass three quarters full with crushed ice.</p>

Fill the glass three quarters full with crushed ice.

9
<p>Using a bar spoon or long stirrer, churn well to combine the ingredients. This ensures an even distribution of flavors and a well-balanced cocktail.</p>

Using a bar spoon or long stirrer, churn well to combine the ingredients. This ensures an even distribution of flavors and a well-balanced cocktail.

10
<p>Add a straw.</p>

Add a straw.

11
<p>Top up with more crushed ice; the extra ice keeps the drink cold and ensures it doesn’t get over diluted.</p>

Top up with more crushed ice; the extra ice keeps the drink cold and ensures it doesn’t get over diluted.

12
<p>Place a mint sprig into the glass, adding a fresh, aromatic touch. </p>

Place a mint sprig into the glass, adding a fresh, aromatic touch.

13
<p>Sprinkle some icing sugar on top for garnish. The icing sugar gives the drink a visually appealing finish.</p>

Sprinkle some icing sugar on top for garnish. The icing sugar gives the drink a visually appealing finish.

Serve immediately and enjoy the refreshing and aromatic blend of dark rum, fresh mint, cane sugar, and bitters in this classic Rum Mint Julep!

History and Origin of the Rum Julep

The Rum Julep is a variant of the classic Mint Julep enjoyed in the southern United States for centuries and famously associated with the Kentucky Derby horse race. The Mint Julep is traditionally made with bourbon, while the Rum Julep uses dark rum as a substitute.

A Rum Julep cocktail, shot from above, in a julep cup on a beige surface surrounded by Dark Rum, mint leaves, sugar cubes, Angostura aromatic bitters, and soda water

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FAQ

How strong is a Rum Julep cocktail?
The strength of a Rum Julep cocktail can vary based on the type and amount of rum used. Typically, it has an Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of around 25-30%, translating to 50-60 proof.
What type of alcohol is used in a Rum Julep?
As the name suggests, a Rum Julep primarily uses dark rum as its base spirit. The choice of rum can significantly influence the flavor profile of the drink.
In what kind of glass is a Rum Julep served?
Traditionally, a Rum Julep is served in a Julep tin or rocks glass . These tall glasses allow plenty of space for ice and garnish, enhancing the drinking experience.
What does a Rum Julep taste like?
A Rum Julep offers a refreshing blend of sweet and minty flavors with the warmth and complexity of rum. Adding sugar and fresh mint leaves creates a balanced, refreshing cocktail.
How is a Rum Julep served with ice?
A Rum Julep is usually served over crushed ice. The ice not only chills the drink but also helps to dilute the strong flavors slightly, making it more enjoyable.
Is there any specific time or occasion to enjoy a Rum Julep?
While there's no hard and fast rule, the Rum Julep is often associated with summer and outdoor gatherings due to its refreshing qualities. It's a great cocktail to enjoy on a warm day or at a barbecue.
Are there any variations of the Rum Julep that include other spirits?
The Julep cocktail is very versatile and can be prepared using a wide variety of spirits. While the classic Mint Julep requires bourbon, feel free to experiment with rye whiskey, spiced rum, brandy… We also offer plenty of exciting variations on this drink on our website if you need some inspiration!

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