Jimmy Russell’s Mint Julep

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I had the pleasure to meet Wild Turkey Master Distiller Jimmy Russell at this past Fall’s whiskeyfest. Jimmy is a true legend in bourbon distilling, having been at it for 54 years. One thing Jimmy has learned in his years is that the perfect cocktail for the Kentucky Derby is the Mint Julep. 

The 54 Julep - wild turkeyWith 54 Derbies under his belt, Russell’s Julep has been precisely refined. He uses his higher proof of Wild Turkey 101, which produces a rich, deep and full taste.

Here’s Jimmy’s Julep recipe.


  • 2 ½ oz Wild Turkey 101
  • 3 sprigs of mint (six to eight mature-sized leaves)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar
  • ½ cup crushed ice


In a traditional silver julep cup or double-old fashioned glass, mull two sprigs of mint with the brown sugar and one ounce of Wild Turkey 101 for a few minutes, crushing the mint leaves with a spoon. Add the crushed ice, the rest of the bourbon, and garnish with sprig of mint.

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