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Kentucky Derby drinks: 13 mint julep & cocktail recipes for Derby Day

Get out your fancy hat and grab the mint julep glass - one of the most highly anticipated sporting events of the year is here! It’s Kentucky Derby time, said to be the “greatest two minutes in sports!” Each year on the first Saturday in May, folks from all over the country put on their fanciest hat and head on over to Churchill Downs, the “Home of the Kentucky Derby” to watch the horses run for the roses.

Amazing Kentucky Derby Drinks:  13 Mint Julep & Cocktail Recipes for Derby Day
Jamie Squire / Getty Images
Kentucky Derby Drinks:  13 Mint Julep & Cocktail Recipes for Derby Day
Courtesy of Marler

Mint Juleps

For nearly a century, the official Derby drink is the deliciously refreshing Mint Julep. Whether you are there in person or in “spirit,” why not enjoy the annual event with one or two of the delicious cocktail recipes listed below?

13 Amazing Mint Julep & Cocktail Recipes

  • How to Make the Best Damn Mint Julep Ever – You’ll need bourbon, mint, turbinado simple syrup and crushed ice.
  • The Early Times Mint Julep – This recipe comes from the Kentucky Derby.
  • Chocolate Mint Julep – Now you’re talking! This fabulous cocktail calls for bourbon, crème de menthe, Godiva liqueur and a sprig of mint.
  • The Perfect Mint Julep – This 5-star recipe calls for bourbon, fresh spearmint, distilled water, granulated and powdered sugar.
  • Orange Mint Julep – You’ll need sugar, an orange, fresh mint, orange bitters, bourbon and crushed ice for this recipe.
  • Blackberry-Mint Julep – You’ll need blackberries, mint leaves, ice cubes, sugar and bourbon for this cocktail.
  • Kiwi-Mint Julep – You’ll need a blender for this recipe that calls for hot water, ice, kiwis, sugar, frozen limeade, mint and bourbon.
  • Pineapple Julep – This pretty-in-pink drink calls for sparkling Moselle wine, gin, raspberry syrup, pineapple, oranges and ice shaves.
  • Frozen Mint Julep – This ice-cold beverage calls for simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, mint leaves, mint, crushed ice and bourbon.
  • Mint Julep Ice Cream Recipe – If your sweet tooth is aching for a sweet treat to eat, check out this refreshing ice cream recipe! Besides spearmint, you’ll need milk, cream, egg yolks, sugar, kosher salt, vanilla extract and bourbon.

Ole Smoky Moonshine Mint Julep

You can drink this cocktail “on the rocks or straight from the jar!” According to an email, Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine received the 2013 Impact Hot Brand Award.


  • 4 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • Crushed ice
  • 2 oz. Ole Smoky Moonshine® White Lightnin’
  • 1 fresh mint sprig
  • Lime Garnish


  1. Place mint leaves and simple syrup in a highball glass.
  2. Muddle mint leaves with syrup.
  3. Add ice; pour moonshine over ice.
  4. Garnish with lime and mint sprig.

Spring Reviver Cocktail


  • 1 oz. Rhubarb Tea
  • 1 oz. Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
  • 1 oz. Lillet Rosé
  • .75 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 dashes Absinthe
  • Strawberry slice and mint sprig or edible flower


  1. Shake ingredients with ice and fine strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  2. Garnish with strawberry slice, mint sprig or an edible flower.

Ole Smoky Moonshine Margarita


  • 2 parts Ole Smoky Original Moonshine
  • 1 part lime juice
  • 1 part simple syrup
  • 1 part triple sec, fresh lime juice


  1. Combine salt and sugar with zest of lime for rim of glass.
  2. Enjoy!

And speaking of juleps - National Mint Julep Day is coming up! And as always, please drink responsibly.

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