Are you looking for a refreshing drink to enjoy on a hot summer day? Enjoy this remake of Disney's famous green mint julep.
It's completely non alcoholic, so the whole family can enjoy it over and over again. Trust me--you'll want a refill! It's got just the right balance of mint, lemon, and lime and has a beautiful garnish that is a lot of fun to eat.
What is a mint julep at Disneyland?
This drink is one of Disneyland's most popular kid friendly drinks and has been served in New Orleans Square since 1966.
Although the drink was updated in 2017, my recipe is inspired by the traditional drink served at Disneyland. It's got the classic green color due to the creme de menthe, unlike the new one which is yellow. It also has the classic garnish of sword-pierced cherries and a lemon wedge with a mint sprig nestled next to the straw.
The new version's garnish has been simplified and the cherries have disappeared. Our version has hints of lime, lemon, and mint. Serve it in a tall, clear glass with crushed ice and with a traditional red straw.
What is creme de menthe?
Creme de menthe (a French term that means mint cream) comes in two versions: alcoholic and non alcoholic. The name is a bit deceiving because it's not creamy.
Creme de menthe is just a simple syrup with peppermint extract. Traditionally, it has green dye in it, but it can also be purchased without it so it will look clear.
It is used for making green desserts and mint flavored beverages. You can purchase non alcoholic creme de menthe at your grocery store, local coffee shop, or online. If you prefer to make your own, it's super simple.
What ingredients are in the traditional Disney's mint julep?
- Creme de menthe (non alcoholic)
- Simple syrup (plain or mint infused)
- Frozen lemonade from concentrate
- Frozen limeade from concentrate
- Water or sparkling mineral water
- Crushed ice
- Garnish (lemon wedge, maraschino cherries, mint sprig)
How many calories are in this drink?
In a 15 fl. oz drink, there are 312 calories. This drink has a small amount of vitamin C and a bit of calcium. For more nutritional information, scroll past the recipe card.
How to Make
This drink can be made with a simple syrup of 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar, but if you want more of a minty taste, use a infused simple syrup. Do this by pouring the hot simple syrup over ½ cup of chopped fresh mint.
Cover the bowl with a plate and let it steep for 30 minutes to 1 hour on the counter. The longer it sits, the stronger the taste.
Pour the infused simple syrup through a strainer, making sure there's a bowl underneath to catch the liquid. Use a large spoon to squeeze out any remaining liquid. Pour the infused simple syrup into a jar, cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks.
To make the homemade creme de menthe, make a simple syrup of 1 cup water to 1 cup sugar. Pour the hot simple syrup into a container and place in the freezer for 15 minutes. The larger the surface area, the quicker it will cool.
Once chilled, add two teaspoons of peppermint extract. Stir it in to mix well.
For the traditional look, stir in a few drops of green food coloring. Pour into a glass jar, seal tightly with a lid, and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Once the infused simple syrup and the homemade creme de menthe are ready, get out the rest of the ingredients for the drink. (In the picture below, the simple syrup is on the left, and the infused simple syrup is on the right, with the homemade creme de menthe in the center.) The bowls have the frozen lemonade and limeade from concentrate and the garnish ingredients: lemon wedges, maraschino cherries (with or without the stem), bambo skewers and fresh mint sprigs.
The pictures will show you how to build the drink in a glass, which is the perfect technique if you only need one or two drinks. Start by pouring the simple syrup or the infused simple syrup into a 15-ounce glass.
Either of these simple syrups taste good in this drink, but I prefer the infused simple syrup. I recommend you try it both ways to see which you prefer.
Next, add the frozen lemonade from concentrate. It can melt pretty fast if its a hot day.
Add the frozen limeade from concentrate next.
To get the signature color, add the creme de menthe. I used a homemade version, so it will taste different if you use store bought.
Give the drink a stir with a long handled spoon to mix everything before pouring in the sparkling mineral water. Actually, it's traditional to use uncarbonated water, but sparkling mineral water gives the drink a special touch with all it's bubbles. Plus, kids love carbonated drinks.
Gently stir with a long handled spoon to mix all the flavors.
To make the traditional garnish, start with a lemon wedge that has been de-seeded. Push the bamboo skewer through the rind of the lemon wedge, then take it off. This might seem backwards, but it's easier to make the holes in the lemon wedge before the cherries get added.
Starting with an empty skewer, spear two cherries onto the skewer, then put the lemon wedge back on. Now that the skewer is done, you can choose to rest it across the top of the drink or to stand it up.
If you want the skewer stand up, make a small slit in the lemon wedge and rest the skewer on the side of the glass. This works best when the drink is served in a traditional glass not a plastic one as it could tip over when the liquid level drops.
If you want to add crushed ice, add it before the garnishes are added. This drink is always served with crushed ice, but feel free to serve it without if all your ingredients are chilled.
It's a Disney tradition to add one or two solid red plastic straws, but we decided to use a striped paper straw for a retro feel. Place your straw next to your skewer and nestle your fresh sprig right beside your straw. This way you can smell it with each sip.
If you want your fresh mint to be more flavorful, lay it on a piece of paper towel and slap it with your hand. This will release some oils into your drink and will smell wonderful.
- Customize the drink to your individual tastes by adjusting the mint, lemon, lime or sugar.
- Want it more minty? Use infused simple syrup, creme de menthe and a slapped mint sprig.
- Don't want your skewer to lay across your drink? Stand it up by resting the lemon wedge on the side of a bottom heavy glass.
- Use homemade creme de menthe to get the same flavor profile as the recipe. Store-bought will taste different.
- If making a large pitcher, add the sparkling mineral water just before serving.
- If making for a party, have separate bowls for the lemon wedges, maraschino cherries, mint sprigs and bamboo skewers.
Note: this drink is a remake of a popular Disneyland beverage which caters to kids. It has no alcohol in it, and the only resemblance to the real thing is the crushed ice and the fresh mint sprig.
Treat yourself to one of these cold drinks.
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This mint julep recipe is non alcoholic and is inspired by Disneyland's famous mint julep. It can easily be made at home for one or for a crowd. Learn how to make a large batch in a pitcher of this refreshing drink for your families' next party, the Kentucky Derby, or a baby shower. It's a simple and easy treat that kids and adults all love.
For One Drink (15 ounces)
- 5 tablespoons simple syrup or infused simple syrup, chilled (2.5 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon frozen lemonade from concentrate (1.1 ounce)
- 4 teaspoons frozen limeade from concentrate (0.6 ounce)
- 2 tablespoons homemade creme de menthe, chilled (1 ounce)
- 1 cup sparkling mineral water, chilled (8 ounces)
- ¼ cup crushed ice, optional
For a Pitcher (Serves 4)
- 1 ¼ cups simple syrup or infused simple syrup (10 ounces)
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon frozen concentrated lemonade (4.5 ounces)
- ⅓ cup frozen concentrated limeade (2.6 ounces)
- ½ cup homemade creme de menthe (4 ounces)
- 4 cups sparkling mineral water (32 ounces)
- 1 cup crushed ice
For the Garnish
- 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges, seeds removed
- 2 maraschino cherries, without stems
- 1 mint sprig
- 1 bamboo skewer
- 1 or 2 straws per glass
Mixing an Individual Serving (15 ounces)
- In a 15 ounce glass, pour in 5 tablespoons of chilled simple syrup or the mint infused simple syrup.
- Add 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of frozen concentrated lemonade and 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of frozen concentrated limeade. Stir with a long handled spoon.
- Pour in 2 tablespoons of chilled homemade creme de menthe and stir to mix. You'll see the color start changing.
- Pour in 1 cup or 8 ounces of sparkling mineral water. Gently stir. Now it should be the color of the traditional one (prior 2017) from Disneyland's Mint Julep Bar in New Orlean's Square.
- Add crushed ice, the lemon/cherry skewer, a mint sprig, and one or two red straws.
Mixing a Pitcher for a Party (4 servings)
- Pour in the 1 ¼ cups simple syrup or the mint infused simple syrup. Add the ½ cup of frozen lemonade and the ⅓ cup of frozen lemonade. Pour in ½ cup of homemade creme de menthe. Stir until well combined. Add 4 cups of sparkling mineral water and gently stir. Add ¼ cup of crushed ice to each of the 4 glasses. Pour mint julep over top the crushed ice.
- If using for a party, add the sparkling mineral water just before serving with the crushed ice on the side.
Garnishing the Drink
- Take a lemon wedge and pierce the bamboo skewer through the rind. Take it off the skewer. Put the maraschino cherries on the skewer, then put the lemon wedge back on the skewer.
- Add a straw or two to your glass, then nestle a mint sprig right beside the straw. This way you can smell it when you take a drink. Serve immediately.
- To make the mint infused simple syrup, pour 1 cup of water (236 ml) and 1 cup of sugar (200g) into a small saucepan. Set over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and pour the hot syrup over ½ cup of chopped fresh mint. Cover and let steep 30 minutes to 1 hour, then strain out the herb. Pour into a glass jar and keep covered in the fridge for up to two weeks.
- To make the homemade creme de menthe, make a simple syrup with 1 cup water (236 ml) and 1 cup sugar (200g). Pour into a container and let it cool completely. (To speed this up, place in the freezer for 15 minutes.) Stir in 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract and a few drops of green food coloring. Pour into a glass jar and keep covered in the fridge for up to two weeks.
- If you use store bought creme de menthe, you won't have the same flavor profile as the recipe.
- Add the sparkling mineral water just before serving, if you plan to make a large pitcher.
- Set out separate bowls for the lemon wedges, maraschino cherries, mint sprigs and bamboo skewers, if making for a party.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Beverage
- Method: Mixing
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Copycat, Disneyland, Mint Julep