As the presenting sponsor of the Kentucky Derby, Woodford Reserve pulled out all the stops for this year’s signature cocktail recipe and an accompanying special edition cup. The $1,000 Mint Julep Cup is a handcrafted vessel adorned with several “Best of Kentucky” details. Designed by a Louisville-based jewelry, the cup features the Twin Spires as a nod to Woodford Reserve’s inaugural year as the sponsor. In Kentucky, limestone-filtered water is the key ingredient in the best bourbon and it is said that the water helps breed thoroughbred champions—hence the cup’s grooves symbolizing limestone. Finally, there are three sterling silver applications on the cup including a thoroughbred horse and jockey, a bottle of Woodford Reserve and a rose as an ode to the “Run for the Roses.”
Crafted by Woodford Reserve’s assistant master distiller Elizabeth McCall and master distiller Chris Morris, this cocktail stars three spray roses and a single rose petal from the Kentucky Derby’s Garland of Roses, which is draped on the winning horse. Although this mint julep looks like a winner and definitely tastes like first place, the best part is its charitable component; all proceeds from the $1,000 cup benefit the Jennifer Lawrence Arts Fund, a charity that is dedicated to supporting the arts for children in the Greater Louisville area. Purchase a cup on woodfordreservemintjulep.com or at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day.
2018 KENTUCKY DERBY MINT JULEP:
2 oz. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon
1 tsp Kentucky Sorghum Syrup from Woodford County Kentucky
2 leaves of Kentucky Colonel Mint
Preparation: Rub mint around the julep cup, expressing the essential oils. Add remaining ingredients and top with crushed ice made from limestone-filtered water sourced from the Woodford Reserve Distillery. Churn ingredients with a bar spoon to distribute the flavor. Garnish with three small red roses, a sprig of mint and a single rose petal from the Garland of Roses.