Best Mint Julep Recipe With Ginger

Shake up the classic cocktail with ginger liqueur and an herbal aperitif

A mint julep is . . . fine. But with just bourbon, mint, water and simple syrup, the classic Kentucky Derby cocktail begs getting just as dressed up as you do for the holiday. At downtown favorite Nose Dive in Greenville, South Carolina, bar manager Walker Pickering adds spice and an herbal spin by way of ginger liqueur and Salers Aperitif. He calls it The Steve McQueen, in honor of the King of Cool himself, and the pun is highly intended: Bullitt (Bulleit) is the name of a McQueen movie, and the drink's green hue matches the car in the film.

Learn more about the mint julep, swap in tequila for bourbon or plan a Derby Day trip to Louisville.

Recipe adapted from Walker Pickering, Nose Dive, Greenville, SC

The Steve McQueen (Ginger Mint Julep)
5 from 46 ratings
Get the recipe for a Derby Day mint julep made with bourbon, mint, ginger liqueur and Salers Aperitif from Nose Dive in Greenville, South Carolina.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total time: 5 minutes
  • 1¾ ounces Bulleit Bourbon
  • ½ ounce ginger liqueur (such as Stirrings)
  • ½ ounce Salers Aperitif
  • Ice
  • 5 mint leaves
  1. Combine the bourbon, ginger liqueur and aperitif in a mixing glass over ice.
  2. Lightly smash 4 of the mint leaves and place them in the mixing glass.
  3. Using a bar spoon (or other long-stemmed spoon), vigorously mix for about 10 seconds.
  4. Double strain the cocktail into a rocks glass filled with a large ice cube.
  5. Lightly smash the remaining piece of mint and place it on top of the rock to serve.
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