No, there’s no substitute for the real thing, but one often finds the afternoon hot and the mint absent, so what’s a julep lover to do?
Old Forester has been bottling pre-made, ready-to-drink mint juleps for years, and should this summer find you wanting, it’s a fine way to get your minted bourbon on in a pinch.
This concoction — essentially Old Forester, mint flavoring, sugar syrup of some form, caramel color, and some water to knock it down in proof a bit — makes for an easy way to enjoy a horse race. The key ingredients are present: The mint reasonably authentic, particularly on the body vs. the nose. The bourbon has a distinctly peachy spin to it, really boosting up the fruitiness. That works fairly well with the mint, giving the beverage an almost tropicality to it. The finish is sweet but short of overbearing, which is pretty much how you want the julep to fade out.
Again, a quality julep with fresh mint will put this concoction to shame — but I’ve made worse mint juleps than what comes out of this bottle myself.