Celebrating The Postponed Kentucky Derby Virtual Style With Woodford Reserve - The Whiskey Wash

Celebrating The Postponed Kentucky Derby Virtual Style With Woodford Reserve

So normally by this time of year the city of Louisville, Kentucky would be filling up with horse race lovers ready to venture to Churchill Downs for the annual Kentucky Derby on May 2nd, with mint juleps and bourbon pours galore on the drinking menu for all to enjoy. Such is not the case right now, however, as the global coronavirus pandemic has forced the postponing of the event until September 5th (this is only the second time it has ever best postponed in its 146 year history – the first being in 1945 when World War II pushed the race from May to early June).

This doesn’t mean, however, that the race and associated bourbons, such as that provided by Woodford Reserve, still can’t be enjoyed in a type of virtual environment. It is with this in mind that it was announced recently by Woodford Reserve and Churchill Downs that a “nationwide, at-home celebration that honors the tradition and pageantry of the Kentucky Derby” will be happening on May 2nd throughout the day, courtesy of social media and television re-broadcasts.

Woodford Reserve Mint Julep

The mint julep, a classic drink associated to the Derby (image via Woodford Reserve)

Plans call for a series of interactive virtual experiences, from Kentucky Derby Museum tours to Derby-inspired recipes, to air on Kentucky Derby’s official social media channels. Woodford Reserve will join the at-home celebration with the following programming (all times are ET):

  • 2 p.m. — Bourbon, Horses & History – Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris will demonstrate how to make the perfect Mint Julep while speaking about the history that connects thoroughbreds, bourbon and Derby. Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall, an expectant mother, will share her favorite mocktail recipes that are inspired by Derby cocktail classics. She will also share tips to enjoy the day with the entire family.
  • 3 p.m. A Global Live Toast to Derby – Morris and McCall will join Derby fans from all over the world for a toast to celebrate the First Saturday in May and look forward to the Sept. 5 Run for the Roses. The toast will be on Woodford Reserve’s YouTube Live channel.

After this virtual programming occurs it will be followed at 3 p.m.-6 p.m. by NBC’s “re-airing of the legendary 2015 Kentucky Derby that began American Pharaoh’s historic Triple Crown run.”

“The Kentucky Derby is not just a horse race — it’s tradition, pageantry and history — and it brings people together from across the globe for the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports,” said Morris in a prepared statement. “Now more than ever, it is important to preserve that history and keep the tradition alive.”

In addition to the above, there will also be “Churchill Downs’ first-ever virtual horse race, The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown. Beginning on April 30, fans will be able to visit www.KentuckyDerby.com to choose their favorite horse to win the virtual race and can join Churchill Downs in making a charitable donation to COVID-19 emergency relief efforts.

“Churchill Downs has pledged to match up to $1 million of donations, for a total potential donation of $2 million.”


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