4 Kentucky Derby Cocktails You Can Bet On

Are you ready for the “greatest two minutes in sports?” Saturday, May 4th marks the 145th annual running of the Kentucky Derby.

If you’re lucky enough to attend the race, be sure to grab a Mint Julep, the traditional Derby drink.

And for those of you watching from home, we’ve got you covered. Here are four Kentucky Derby cocktails that will take you to the winner’s circle.

Mint Julep

Of course, we’re coming out of the gate with the classic Kentucky Derby cocktail. Recreate an authentic Mint Julep with this recipe.


3 oz. Old Forester Mint Julep

0.75 oz. simple syrup

8-10 mint leaves

3 mint sprigs, for garnish


Pack mint julep cup with crushed ice. In a mixing glass, combine bourbon, syrup, and mint leaves. Lightly bruise mint leaves with a muddler, strain contents into julep cup. Garnish with 3 generous sprigs of mint.

Brown Derby

Kentucky is famous for its bourbon. If juleps are too minty for your taste, the Brown Derby is another delicious bourbon cocktail.


2 oz Bulleit Rye

1 oz grapefruit juice

0.5 oz honey syrup

Grapefruit wedge, for garnish


Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake well. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with grapefruit wedge.

Moonshine Pomelo

The Moonshine Pomelo is a fruity drink that packs a punch. You won’t find any bourbon here, but between the fresh flavors and the moonshine, it still makes our list of Kentucky Derby cocktails.


0.5 oz simple syrup

1.5 oz moonshine

1 dash grapefruit bitters

3.5 oz ruby red grapefruit juice

Slice of fresh pomelo, for garnish


Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Top with ice and shake for 30 seconds. Strain into a Mason jar filled with ice and garnish with a slice of pomelo.

Oaks Lily

We’ll round out our list with the second most popular cocktail at Churchill Downs- the Oaks Lily. This sweet and sour concoction is both easy to make and fun to drink.


1.25 oz vodka

1 oz sweet and sour mix

0.25 oz triple sec

3 oz cranberry juice

Lemon slice, for garnish

Blackberries, for garnish


Fill a stemless wine glass with ice. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and pour over ice. Garnish with a lemon slice and blackberries.

So there you have it, a superfecta of delicious Kentucky Derby cocktails. Be sure to enjoy one (or a few) of these while you’re cheering on the race!

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