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Colleen Graham

It's Time for the Kentucky Derby

By April 29, 2013

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It is that time of year again... two minutes of the most exciting horse race. Yes, it is Derby Week and Saturday is the 139th Kentucky Derby and there is but one drink that is appropriate to don, the Mint Julep. This year I want to pass on a few of the highlights I've received regarding this classic bourbon cocktail.

Woodford Reserve $1000 Mint Julep
Woodford Reserve $1000 Mint Julep

Woodford Reserve $1000 Mint Julep - Woodford Reserve is, once again, the official bourbon of the Derby and they are offering a julep to beat all juleps to 89 attendees of the race. Most of the cups are sold, but there are a few left as of this blog post and are being sold through May 2nd. I find the ornate cocktail interesting: gold-filtered mineral water shaved ice from Nova Scotia, mint leaves dusted with gold and Woodford Gold sorghum from Woodford County, Kentucky, and Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select Bourbon. The 79 Distinguished Cups are those available for purchase online (though you do have to be at Churchill Downs to receive it) and the 10 Legendary Cups and Golden Opportunity Package will be auctioned off at the Derby. All proceeds go to the Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Center.

Jim Beam Distiller's Masterpiece - For those of you who will be in Louisville this weekend, you may want to stop by the Jim Beam American Stillhouse in Clermont to pick up a bottle of this limited edition bourbon. The word is that it is one very fine whiskey and, sorry, you can only get it there.

Derby Julep Cobbler - This cocktail comes to us from Ryan Asay, head mixologist at Windsor Court in New Orleans. It is a fun rendition of the traditional drink that is very interesting...

Muddle simple syrup, lemon juice and cucumber. Add whiskey. Fill Julep cup with crushed ice. Top with soda water. Garnish with strawberry, cucumber and mint.

Chicken Cock Root Beer Mint Julep - Yes, I had to read that one twice too and that's why I have to share the recipe. Chicken Cock Root Beer Whiskey is one that I've not heard of, but it sounds interesting enough and I'm sure it works out well in a Mint Julep.

  • 3 sprigs fresh mint
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1tsp superfine sugar
  • 2 oz Chicken Cock Root Beer Whiskey
Muddle 2 mint springs, water, and sugar in the bottom of a silver julep cup. Fill with crushed ice and add Chicken Cock. Garnish with mint sprig.

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