Celebrate Kentucky Derby Day With Mint Juleps And More This Weekend
When it comes to celebrating the Kentucky Derby, the drink of choice is the Mint Julep. The classic mixture of bourbon, mint, and sugar served with plenty of crushed ice is an American classic. It became the official cocktail after the fall of Prohibition. During this Derby weekend whether you are roaming the lively streets of Louisville, attending a viewing party or throwing your own dapper soiree, make sure to have a traditional julep as well as sip on a unique twist. We have listed 10 cocktails to imbibe while watching the race for the roses involving bourbon and alternative spirits to celebrate with friends. Now it’s off to the races!
Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon Thyme Julep
by Frank Liotti (New York, NY)
- 2 oz. Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon
- 1 bar spoon Simple Syrup
- 1 dash Angostura® Bitters
- 6 Fresh Thyme Sprigs (one for garnish)
Muddle fresh thyme in a rocks glass. Combine remaining ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until cold. Fine strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a toasted thyme sprig.
Knob Creek® Mint Julep
- 1½ oz. Knob Creek® Bourbon
- 2 bunches mint
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- 1 splash soda
Mix sprigs of mint with simple syrup and a splash of soda. Fill highball glass with fine crushed ice and pour in bourbon. Lift out and decorate with two mint leaves. Add powdered sugar over mint to add an optional frosted appearance.
The Perfect Woodford Reserve Mint Julep
- 2 oz. Woodford Reserve
- 1 oz. Water
- 1 tsp. Sugar
- Crushed Ice
- 4 sprigs Fresh Mint
Express the essential oils in the mint and rub them inside the glass or copper cup. To the same glass, add sugar, water, bourbon and crushed ice. Stir. Garnish with more crushed ice and fresh mint.
- 5 parts Woodford Reserve
- 2 parts Lemonade
- 1 part cranberry juice
- Crushed Ice
- Lemon peel for a lemon twist to garnish
- In a glass, mix Woodford Reserve, lemonade and Cranberry juice with a bar spoon. Add liquid mixture into a copper cup, add crushed ice to the top of the glass & serve with a lemon twist.
- 2 oz Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey
- 1 barspoon .25 oz raw sugar
- 8-10 Mint Leaves
- Crushed Ice
Lightly muddle ¾ of the mint leaves and sugar into cup. Add Proper No. Twelve Whiskey and crushed ice. Garnish with mint.
Slow & Low Mint Julep
- 3 oz Slow & Low Rye Whiskey
- 1/2 oz Simple Syrup – Preferably Demerara
- 10 sprigs of mint (Reserve 1 sprig for garnish)
- Crushed ice
- Copper, steel or aluminum cup
Muddle whiskey and mint in a mix glass. Add 1 large cube of ice. Next, stir but not so much as to dilute. Add liberal amounts of crushed ice to more than fill the tin cup. Fine strain contents of mix into a glass over crushed ice. Garnish with 6 mint leaves.
The Finlandia Oaks Lily
The Official Drink of the Kentucky Oaks
- 1 ¼ oz. Finlandia Classic Vodka
- 1 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix
- ¼ oz. Triple Sec
- 3 oz. Cranberry Juice
Combine ingredients over crushed ice in an Official Oaks Lily souvenir glass. Garnish with a fresh blackberry and lemon peel.
D’usse Mint Julep
- 2½ parts D’USSÉ VSOP Cognac
- ½ part simple syrup
- 2– 4 sprigs of mint
- Crushed ice
Place simple syrup in a julepglass with 5 or 6 mint leaves and muddle. Fill the glass halfway with ice, add1½ parts D’USSÉ VSOP Cognac and stir. Add more ice and remaining D’USSÉ. Stir again until theglass is fully frosted. Top with ice and garnish with fresh mint.
by Nick Fogel, Beverage Director, The Late Late Bar & Spirit Grocer
- 1 oz Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey
- .75 oz Lillet Blanc
- .75 oz Lavender Syrup *
- Top with Sparkling Wine
- Garnish Lavender Branch
Directions for Lavender Syrup:
- 2 cups Water
- 2 cups White Sugar
- 3 Lemon Twists
- 3 tsp Loose Cooking Lavender
Combine in a sauce pan and simmer for 10 min. Allow to cool then strain into a glass bottle.
Add all ingredients except for sparkling wine into a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds and strain into coupe glass. Top with sparkling wine, and garnish with lavender branch.
- 2 oz. Nooku Bourbon Cream
- 0.5 oz. White Crème De Menthe
- 5 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint.