The Kentucky Derby wouldn’t be the Kentucky Derby without one thing (aside from the thoroughbred horses and fancy hats, of course): the mint julep, which became the official drink of the annual event in 1938. And here’s a bit more trivia for you: As many as 120,000 mint juleps are served and gulped down at Churchill Downs over the Kentucky Derby weekend. That’s a lot of mint juleps!
This year, the Kentucky Derby is on Saturday, May 4 and if you’re watching from home — as most of us will be — there are plenty of mint julep recipes you can whip up right in your kitchen. In fact, we’ve found loads of tasty adult beverages that’ll keep your party going all weekend. So throw on your derby hat, mix up one of these cocktails, and let’s watch some horses race around a track for a while.
A version of this article was originally published in May 2016.
What makes this mint julep so refreshing? The fresh-squeezed cucumber juice and lime juice.
Kiwi & Mint Julep
This fresh tropical cocktail has a touch of tangy kiwi.
Cherry brandy and maraschino cherry syrup combine for a sweet, vibrant flavor.
How trendy (and delicious): a tart pomegranate julep.
Apple Julep Mocktail
Let the kids root on their favorite horses with this fruity mocktail.
Citrusy Virgin Julep
Want some fresh-squeezed orange juice in your virgin julep? You got it.
This simple recipe calls for skipping the mint and using aromatic basil instead.
Someone got inventive when they replaced mint with sage.
Mint isn't necessary in this savory julep, with its hint of pepper and pine.
Lavender & Mint Julep
Lavender in a mint julep? Genius!
Cool Summer Julep
White wine and peach liqueur create a refreshing drink on a warm evening.
Warm Winter Julep
Sip this warm julep containing peppermint tea on a rainy day.
Who knew gin and powdered sugar could taste so good together?
Compared to the classic mint julep made with bourbon, this brandy cocktail goes down extra smooth.
Cognac Mint Julep
For an oaky flavor, swap bourbon for cognac in this version of a julep.
Rye Whiskey Julep
If Kentucky whiskey isn't your thing, give rye whiskey a go.
Mint Julep Margarita
A mint julep-turned-margarita? We’ll take two.
Tequila Mint Julep Cocktail
This yummy cousin of the mint julep margarita makes the perfect addition to any Kentucky Derby viewing party.
Mint Julep Martini
Because even classic cocktails taste better with mint.
Just what the doctor ordered: a 19th-century julep that was once thought to cure viruses.
Sparkling Blackberry Mint Julep
Blackberries, mint leaves, bourbon and Prosecco make for an unforgettable celebratory drink.
Sweet Tea Mint Julep
Turn sweet tea into a mint julep cocktail.
Mint Julep Lemonade
Turning a mint julep into a refreshing lemonade makes so much sense.
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