The Kentucky Derby is happening on Saturday. Known as the fastest two minutes in sports, the day is known for its hats and its iconic drink: The Mint Julep.
Mint juleps have been a staple at Churchill Downs since 1938 and more than 120,000 juleps are expected to be served at the track this weekend. Some of those juleps are even going for upwards of $1000.
If you’re not making it out to the track this weekend, there’s no reason why you can’t mix up a julep or two on your own. While the standard version contains bourbon, sugar water, and mint served over crushed ice, there are also some unique spins on the drink out there that are sometimes even better than the original.
Created by Louisville mixologist Shelby Higginbotham
2 oz. Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey
8 mint leaves
1 oz. jalapeño simple syrup
1 mint sprig
2 slices of jalapeño
Directions: In a pewter Julep cup, muddle mint leaves with jalapeño simple syrup. Half fill the cup with crushed ice and add Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey. Stir the cocktail until the ice begins to dilute. Add more crushed ie until the cup is heaping. Garnish with a mint sprig and 2 slices of jalapeño.
Created by: Evan Wolf
1.75 oz. Sazerac Rye
.75 oz. Jägermeister
.25 oz. Wondermint Liqueur
.25 oz. Giffard Peach Liqueur
.25 oz. 2:1 Simple Syrup
Directions: Combine ingredients in rocks glass and fill with pebbled ice. Garnish with fresh mint.
Created by Mattias Horseman, Hendrick’s Gin Ambassador
1 ½ parts Hendrick’s Gin
½ part Ancho Verde
½ part kiwi pineapple syrup
¼ part honey
½ part fresh lime juice
1 dash Bitterman’s Tiki Bitters
Directions: Add ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a teacup filled with ice. Garnish with mint leaves.
This is a low-proof Julep-style cocktail that replaces muddled mint with refreshing grapefruit juice and a touch of raspberry sweetness.
1.5 oz. Cynar Italian Amaro
1 oz. Grapefruit Juice
0.25 oz. Raspberry Syrup
0.25 oz. Lime Juice
Directions: Shake ingredients and pour into Julep cup over crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.
Created by Allan Roth, Glenfiddich Ambassador
2 parts Glenfiddich 14 Year Old Bourbon Barrel Reserve
Bruised mint Leaves
¼ part simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Directions: Build with crushed ice and garnish with mint sprigs in a traditional julep cup.