The keys to a perfect mint julep are careful preparation and quality ingredients:
Equipment: two four ounce bowls (silver is preferable), bar spoon, strainer.
Into the first bowl put several fresh mint sprigs, one teaspoon of sugar, and two tablespoons of spring water. In the other pour two ounces of Bourbon (Blanton's, if you prefer an ethereal smoothness; Booker Noe's for superior flavor). Crush the leaves with the spoon, then stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Now carefully strain the contents of the first bowl into the sink, and drink the second.
Disclaimer: Mr. Riley did not receive any free product from either Blanton's or Booker Noe's in exchange for his endorsement, but he's not totally averse to the idea.