Must-Try

Where to Find a Mint Julep Year-Round in LA

By Lesley Balla  |  May 4, 2016
Credit: Baltaire/Kristin Teig

It's hard to pin down the exact origins of the mint julep, but Kentuckians have adopted it as their own, especially around Derby time. A lot of restaurants and bars will get the special copper or pewter cups to serve a proper julep around town this time of year, but many keep the icy concoction — usually made with bourbon, but it can be any spirit, plus sugar, mint and lots of crushed ice — on menus ever day. Her's where to sip some of the best.

Baltaire: It's a choose-your-own-adventure julep at the Brentwood steakhouse. Well, at least you can choose your own spirit, and whether it's the traditional bourbon, gin, rum, rye, tequila or vodka, it's served with mint, a little simple syrup and a mound of crushed ice in a copper cup. If you want to get into the Derby spirit, there will be Hot Brown sandwiches, Benton country ham with biscuits and deviled eggs in the bar on special from 1 to 4 PM on May 7.

The Arthur J: The cocktail gets deeper flavors with the addition of tea and clove syrup to bourbon and Smith & Cross rum. There's also a great version at David LeFevre's Fishing With Dynamite a few blocks away. Made with white rye and rosewater, it's a lighter, refreshing take on the classic. 

Bludso's Bar & Que: It so easy to sip one of the bourbon mint juleps at the La Brea barbecue joint, and it has nothing to do with how they taste next to ribs and brisket. It's because the juleps are on tap, which means they're fast and icy and perfect every time. They're also only $6 on Kentucky Derby Day, May 7.