The Round Robin Bar at the luxurious Willard InterContinental Washington, D.C. is recognized as the birthplace of the Mint Julep in the nation’s capital. Kentucky Statesman Henry Clay is believed to have first introduced the cocktail to Washingtonians at Willard in the 1830s when he famously shipped a barrel of Kentucky bourbon to the city for use in his diplomatic efforts. Unlike those who made their Mint Juleps with brandy, rye whiskey, or rum, Clay used Kentucky bourbon, which Round Robin Bar still honors and uses to this day. Round Robin Bar sells more than 20,000 Mint Juleps annually.


  • 1 oz. Sparkling Water
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 cup Crushed Ice
  • 2 oz. Maker’s Mark
  • 4-6 Mint Leaves + sprig for garnish
  • Lemon twist for garnish 

Method: Add mint leaves, sugar, part of the sparkling water, and a small measure of Southern-style bourbon to a tall glass. Muddle gently. Add crushed ice and mix gently. Add more crushed ice and top off with the rest of the bourbon and water; mix gently. Garnish with a mint sprig, lemon twist, and a dusting of sugar.