4 Refreshing Cocktails to Serve at your Kentucky Derby Party

4 Refreshing Cocktails to Serve at your Kentucky Derby Party

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The United States is a different beast in the global horseracing industry, and its historical, prestigious, and honourable Kentucky Derby can attest to that. First run in 1875, it is the first leg of the world-renowned U.S. Triple Crown. It has gained the moniker called ‘The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports’ or ‘The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports’ due to its estimated duration.

The Kentucky Derby race itself may be less than two minutes. From the stadium to the horse racing race track, but its cultural significance has led people to celebrate it hours and days beforehand. That is why to get you ready for the next first Sunday of May, here are some four refreshing cocktails that can keep your guests going all day long. 


  • Classic Mint Julep
  • Since 1938, the mint julep has been Kentucky Derby’s traditional alcoholic drink. It’s available in almost every area of Churchill Downs. Records reported that about 120,000 of it are served per year. Here’s how you can recreate it in your home:
  • Mint leaves
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 ounce bourbon
  • Crushed or shaved ice
  • Lime slices, optional
  • Smoky Whisky Sour
  • Creamy, smokey and frothy, this is the tantalising cocktail that will certainly satisfy your taste buds.
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • 1/4 ounce tea syrup
  • 1/2 ounce cinnamon bark syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • Crushed ice
  • Brown Derby
  • Compared to the mint julep, the Brown Derby isn’t related to the race itself. Instead, it is a brunch cocktail named after the hat-shaped Los Angeles diner of the same name. Nonetheless, its use of bourbon makes it very suitable for the event.
  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce honey syrup
  • 1 ounce grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
  • Crushed ice
  • Grapefruit twist for garnish
  • Kentucky Mule
  • This refreshing drink is a Derby rendition from the Moscow mule that puts bourbon as the major key ingredient instead of vodka. Here’s how it is done.
  • Ginger beer, to top
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • Mint sprig, for garnish
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed


  • Classic Mint Julep
  • 1Rub the mint leaves inside a glass.
  • 2Add the simple syrup, bourbon, and ice. Stir.
  • 3Garnish with more ice, fresh mint, and/or lime slices, if preferred.
  • Smoky Whisky Sour
  • 1Without the ice, combine all ingredients in a shaker, and mix vigorously.
  • 2Add the ice and shake again until well-chilled.
  • 3Double strain the mixture in a glass.
  • Brown Derby
  • 1Mix the bourbon, grapefruit juice, honey syrup, and ice into a shaker until well combined and chilled.
  • 2Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass.
  • 3Extract the oil from the grapefruit twist over the drink.
  • Kentucky Mule
  • 1Add the bourbon and lime juice to a copper mug or a highball glass.
  • 2Fill the remaining space of the glass with ice and ginger beer.
  • 3If desired, garnish with a mint sprig. Sip and enjoy as you watch the sporting actions at the horse racing race track in Churchill Downs.