Delicious Derby Day Drinks

The dream of racing in the Kentucky Derby, chasing the coveted garland of roses inspires thousands of owners, trainers and jockeys; however only 20 thoroughbreds will get their chance to shine on the first Saturday in May.

Therefore, dig out your best Derby hat and get ready to serve up some tasty libations, including the famous Mint Julep, for your seersucker wearing patrons. Here are some Derby Day cocktails recipes.

The Early Times Mint Julep  (Official Drink of the Kentucky Derby)
Courtesy of Early Times Distillery Co.

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Sprigs of fresh mint
Crushed ice
Early Times Kentucky Whisky
Silver Julep Cups

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Early Times Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Grey Goose Oaks Lily
Courtesy of Grey Goose

1 oz. GREY GOOSE Vodka
1 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix
3 oz. Cranberry Juice
Splash of Triple Sec

Once the ingredients are mixed, place the Grey Goose® Oaks Lily® in a tall glass with crushed ice, add a straw and garnish with an orange wedge and cherry.

The Daily’s Kentucky Mojito
Courtesy of Daily’s Cocktails

1/2 oz. Daily's Bar Syrup
5-6 mint sprigs
1 1/4 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. Daily's Non-alcoholic Triple Sec
1/2 oz. Daily’s Lime Juice
1 1/2 oz. Daily’s Sweet & Sour Mix
1 1/2 oz. iced tea

Pour ingredients into cocktail shaker. Muddle Bar syrup and mint sprigs, then add ice. Shake and strain remaining ingredients into glass over ice.

The Frozen Mint Julep
Courtesy of Emeril Lagassee

1 1/2 cups sugar, plus more for garnish
1 cup water
2 cups packed fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
8 cups ice cubes
2 cups bourbon
Orange slices, for garnish
Mint sprigs, for garnish

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the mint leaves. Allow to steep until cooled. Once cooled, strain out the leaves. Combine half of the mint syrup, 4 cups ice, and 1 cup bourbon in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a pitcher. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Rub the rims of julep cups, if available, or wide-mouthed, long-stemmed glasses with orange slices and dip the rims in sugar, then fill with the frozen mint juleps. Garnish each with an orange slice and mint sprig and serve immediately.

Spicy Bloody Marys
Courtesy of Kentucky Derby

1 46 oz. can tomato juice
1 c. Vodka
1/2 c. lemon juice
4-6 drops Tabasco
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon celery seeds optional

Combine all, chill covered in large pitcher for 24 hours. Serve over ice. Garnish with celery sticks, asparagus spears, green onion, etc.

The Derby
Courtesy of Cocktail Enthusiast

1 ounce bourbon
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce orange curacao
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.  Garnish with a lime.

Courtesy of Yumsugar

2 ounces bourbon
1-1/2 ounces peach puree
1 ounce lemon juice
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Splash of soda
Crushed ice
Slice of candied ginger, for garnish (optional)

Pour ingredients one by one in a glass; add crushed ice and stir until outside of the glass is frosty. Makes 1 drink.

The Ginger Julep ’68 Fastback
Courtesy of Bulleit Bourbon

1 .5 oz. Bulleit Bourbon
.5 oz. Organic Brown Sugar
¼ oz.  Peeled Minced Fresh Ginger
1.5 oz. Soda Water
1 Lemon or Lime Twist

Muddle the ginger and brown sugar together until all of the sugar is moistened and nearly dissolved. Add a dash of soda to finish dissolving the sugar, stir in your Bourbon. Finish with ice, soda to taste and a lemon or lime twist.

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