Sterling Silver Julep Cup

The history, examples and forms of the sterling silver julep cup. Links to resources and pictures of sterling silver julep cups and sterling silver.

The Sterling Silver Julep Cup

In the South, there is a time-honored tradition that is best enjoyed under the very wide brim of an elaborately decorated hat: The Kentucky Derby. As you watch the majestic thoroughbreds race round the track, there is no better way to cool yourself off than with a refreshing Mint Julep, better yet served in a sterling silver julep cup. The sweet bite of bourbon mixed with the fresh mint and all served ice cold is the perfect palate quencher to tackle that deep south heat. As the official libation of the Derby, one must familiarize themselves with its sweet southern charms. That being said, the following recipe has been provided. See the full recipe at the bottom of the page.

Early American silver smiths and Kentucky natives, Asa Blanchard and William and Archibald Cooper are responsible for the appearance of the julep cup design we use today. The opulence of a sterling silver julep cup goes beyond the racetrack for southern residents. We raise our cups high in celebration of our roots and traditions. Sterling silver adds that extra extravagance to the experience and is the perfect vessel for a chilled mint julep. Whether you are watching from the benches of Churchill Downs, waving your winning ticket in the air, or sitting in the air conditioned confines of your parlor, make sure you have a Mint Julep waiting. Sit back, relax and take a sip of a little southern heritage.

AboveĀ are two basic forms that the sterling silver julep takes, one with a banded border(figure 1) and the other with a beaded boarder (figure 2). Click on either and look at our selection of over 94 sterling silver juleps in 14 different forms.

The Perfect Mint Julep

Yields 1

  • 3 ounces Kentucky bourbon
  • Mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons mint simple syrup, recipe follows

Crush a few mint leaves in the bottom of a sterling silver julep cup. Add 2 tablespoons of syrup and muddle ingredients together to release oils from mint. Then fill the julep with crushed ice. Add bourbon and stir until the julep is frosted. Top with more crushed ice. To serve, garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.

Mint Syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bunch fresh mint sprigs

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Boil for 5 minutes, without stirring.

Pour over a handful of mint and gently crush the mint with a spoon. Refrigerate syrup mixture overnight in a jar with a lid. Remove mint leaves and keep refrigerated. In the refrigerator, the mix will be good for several weeks.

Resource: Jay Dickerson, EQ at The Party Source

3 thoughts on “Sterling Silver Julep Cup”

  1. During a recent visit to The Greenbrier, my wife and I enjoyed mint juleps in the lobby bar. We were told that juleps originated there. Can anyone confirm that? They certainly were delicious. The powdered sugar dusting of the mint leaves on top was a perfect finish.

    1. A Mint Julep in the lobby bar of The Greenbrier in West Virginia sounds quite lovely!

      Reference sources not biased by a particular opinion (i.e., The Savannah Chamber of Commerce, the Richmond Historical Society, Louisville, etc.) state that the origin of the drink is actually unknown, but that it is definitely Southern. I wish I had something more than this vague answer for you. Should you find out any more information please post it for our readers.

      Thank you for commenting.

  2. My julep cups go back to 1935. Always a gift through the years to my Kentucky relatives…Christmas, Mother’s day, etc. The ones I truly love are from Wakefield Scarce in Louisville. When each cup was minted the initials of the current president was stamped on the bottom. My Wakefield cups go back to RMN…(Nixon).

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