For those of you who plan to celebrate at home, we are telling you everything you need to celebrate the Kentuck Derby at home, starting with the infamous mint julep. Mint juleps were originally made with brandy but we're giving you an extensive list of brands and cocktail recipes to freshen up this fan favorite cocktail. Similar to a Horizontal Tasting, you can give life to mint juleps with tequila, ginger, and gin. For those who prefer the classic, we've got you covered.
While those at Churchill Downs will be drinking the refreshing combination of brandy, mint, sugar, and bourbon over crushed ice, will teach you our favorite recipes and brands. And if you're not a cocktail fan, don't worry, shots on us.
Maker’s Mark is Kentucky’s bourbon darling. Made using soft red winter wheat (vs. rye) to create a bourbon with a flavor that finishes on the front of the tongue, it’s a delicious addition to any Julep. The caramel and vanilla play deliciously with mint in the Julep and it doesn’t hurt that Maker’s first ever customer in the 1950s was a horse race course – Keeneland in Lexington Kentucky!
Maker’s Mark Cask Strength goes straight from barrel to bottle at 110 to 114 proof. Cask Strength retains the signature front-of-the-palate flavors of Maker’s Mark, but amps up those flavors to create remarkable new bourbon that really stands up in Juleps, especially those with added ingredients like fruit or other liqueurs. The robust spice and oaky flavors of the bourbon, balance the sweetness and minty essence of a classic Julep or a more inventive version.
Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Decades: The second premium expression from Master Distiller Eddie Russell’s Master’s Keep series, uses some of the rarest and precious barrels in Wild Turkey’s heralded stock. Made from a blend of whiskies aged 10 to 20 years, this 104 proof (52% alc. /vol.) whiskey will retail for a limited time, at $150 per bottle. More background in the release below.
Wild Turkey Rare Breed: One of the pioneers of small batch bourbons, Rare Breed is pure barrel proof whiskey, meaning no water is added to reduce the level of alcohol during the bottling process. This year we’re celebrating an even higher proof with a new bottle design.
The Union Horse Distilling Company Reunion Straight Rye — a small batch, 100 percent rye whiskey handcrafted from the finest quality rye and aged in Union Horse’s signature oak barrels. Reunion unites smooth complex notes of butterscotch, caramel, ginger and cinnamon spice. (93 proof).
How to make a mint julep
The typical directions consist of muddle mint in the bottom of cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice and add remaining ingredients. Shake vigorously and strain into glass with crushed ice. Garnish with sprig of mint
Our Favorite Recipes (Use directions above and check the gallery beow for final results)
Intense Ginger Mint Julep Created by Barrow’s Intense
2 oz bourbon
1 1/2 oz Barrows Intense Ginger Liqueur
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
3-4 sprigs of mint
NOLET’S Silver Bulleit
1 oz. NOLET’S Silver Gin
1 oz. Bulleit® Bourbon
1 oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice
1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
0.75 oz. Simple Syrup
Mexican Mint Julep:
2.5 oz. Avión Reposado
0.5 oz. Simple Syrup
2 oz. Cynar
3/4 oz. Lemon
1 oz. Grapefruit
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
Julep cup/Mint/Crushed Ice