The Kentucky Derby is one of the longest running sporting traditions in America. While some watch the Derby for the horse racing, others celebrate the cultural event by drinking Kentucky Bourbon based cocktails and spirits.
Horse racing and Kentucky Bourbon go hand in hand. In this article, we’ll highlight the top cocktails you can serve at your 2015 Kentucky Derby party.
The Kentucky Derby Mint Julep
The official drink of the Kentucky Derby is the Mint Julep. Although the original Mint Julep was originally concocted using brandy, today’s Mint Julep is typically made with Kentucky Bourbon.
The most popular Kentucky Bourbon used in Derby Mint Juleps is undoubtedly Old Forrester. Although you may use your favorite Kentucky Bourbon when making your Mint Juleps, try our suggested Kentucky Derby Mint Julep recipe below:
- Mint leaves
- Crushed ice
- Sugar (For Simple Mint Syrup)
- A Bottle of Bourbon, preferably Old Forrester
- Fresh Mint Sprigs
- Simple Mint Syrup
- Stirring Straws – Allows your guests to stir and sip
- Powdered Sugar – To compliment the mint garnish
Yields (1) 8 ounce serving.
You will need to prepare the Simple Syrup for your Mint Juleps first. Simply bring 1 cup of water combined with 1 cup of sugar to a boil in a saucepan for 3 minutes. Let the solution cool to room temperature, then preserve the Simple Syrup in a glass jar.
Take a chilled bar glass and pour 1/2 an ounce of the Simple Syrup into the glass. Take a spoon and mix 3-5 mint sprigs into the bottom of the cup. Try to mash the mint sprigs against the side of the cup to release the flavor of the mint into the Simple Syrup. Take your spoon and remove the mint from the syrup and discard as needed.
Next, fill the cup full of crushed ice and proceed to mix 2 ounces (roughly two shots) of your favorite Bourbon into the glass. Stir the drink with a straw and garnish the drink with mint leaves. Top the drink off with additional ice as needed. Left over simple syrup can be refrigerated and used later in sweet tea.
Kentucky Bourbon Tailgate Sipper
Some Kentucky Derby partiers treat the Run for the Roses as a tailgating party that helps kick off Summer. The Kentucky Bourbon Tailgate Sipper is the perfect addition for your 2015 Kentucky Derby party.
- 4 cups of cubed fresh pineapple
- 1 cup of Kentucky Bourbon (Woodfords, Old Forrester, Etc)
- 1 cup of Cold Perrier Lemon Sparkling Water
- 1/2 cup Southern Comfort
- 1 TBSP of Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 TSP of Vanilla Extract
Using a food processor or blender, drop the pineapple chunks into the device allowing the chunks to smooth out. This roughly takes 30 seconds.
Strain the pineapple mixture using a wire mesh strainer and pour the pineapple juice into a 2 quart container. Be sure to remove any pineapple pulp from the juice and discard the pulp in the trash. Use a spoon to mash all of juice out of the pineapple against the strainer.
Using the 2 quart container, add 1 cup of your favorite Kentucky Bourbon, a cup of Perrier Lemon Flavored Sparking Water, 1/2 a cup of Southern Comfort, 1 TBSP of fresh lemon juice along with 1 TSP of vanilla extract. Stir up your concoction and serve over ice. Add garnishes if necessary.
Spiked Sweet Tea & Lemonade
This super simple concoction is sure to be a hit at your 2015 Kentucky Derby party. To make Spiked Sweet Tea & Lemonade, follow these directions below.
- 3 Cups of Water
- 2 Family Sized Lipton Tea Bags
- 1 Cup of Mint Leaves (Loosely Packed)
- 1/2 Cup of Sugar
- 4 Cups of Cold Water
- 1/2 of a 12-oz. can of frozen lemonade concentrate (thawed)
- 1 cup Kentucky Bourbon (Old Forrester, Knob Creek or Woodford)
You can garnish the Spiked Sweet Tea & Lemonade with fresh sugarcane and fresh pineapple slices.
First, take your 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Add tea bags and fresh mint to your boiling water. Remove from the heat and leave covered for 10 minutes.
Next, remove the tea bags and mint leaves. Mix the sugar into the minty, sweet tea mix and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Once this is complete, mix in your 4 cups of cold water, your Kentucky Bourbon along with the lemonade concentrate. Serve over the Spiked Sweet Tea & Lemonade over ice and use the garnishes suggested above.