All Of The Kentucky Derby Whiskey Cocktail Recipes You'll Need - The Whiskey Wash

All Of The Kentucky Derby Whiskey Cocktail Recipes You'll Need

As the days draw closer to the running of the Kentucky Derby, it is also the time of year when our inbox fills with Kentucky Derby whiskey cocktail recipes from many different brands. We’ve decided editorially to consolidate them all here into this one story for your consideration, broken up by brand/parent company name.

Diageo: 

Blade in the Bluegrass

Cocktail developed by Michael Harper, OBC Kitchen in Lexington, Kentucky

  • 1.3 oz. Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1 oz. Roasted peach-infused simple syrup
  • 6-8 mint leaves
  • crushed ice

In shaker, add mint leaves and roasted peach-infused simple syrup.  Gently muddle ingredients to express essence of mint.  Add freshly cracked ice and Blade and Bow. Shake well. Crush fresh ice and pack into Julep Cup.  Fine strain drink over crushed ice in Julep Cup.  Garnish with fresh mint sprig and bruleed slice of peach.

Kentucky Derby Whiskey Cocktail Recipes

Blade in the Bluegrass (image via Diageo)

The Bulleit Mint Julep 

  • 1 1/3 oz. Bulleit Bourbon (or Bulleit Rye for a different twist)
  • 1 tsp. Sugar
  • 5-6 Mint leaves
  • Crushed ice
  • Julep cups or rocks glasses

Muddle mint leaves, sugar, and splash of water in a julep cup or rocks glass.Add Bulleit Bourbon, water, and fill cup with crushed ice (10-20% above rim of cup, like a snow cone) and stir.Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint, add a small drinking straw, and serve with a napkin.

Harper’s Bet

Cocktail developed by Mark Corley, The Silver Dollar in Louisville, Kentucky

  • 1.5 oz. I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • .5 oz. Grenadine
  • .5 oz. Lemon juice
  • .5 oz. Grapefruit juice
  • 3 Dashes Orange bitters

Shake and Strain over fresh ice in an old fashioned glass.  Garnish with a lemon wheel.

The Paddock
Cocktail developed by Destinee Almonte, No Vacancy LA*

  • 1 oz. The Gifted Horse American Whiskey
  • .25 oz. Velvet Falernum
  • 1 Quarter roasted pear
  • 2 Bar spoons sugar
  • 1 Dash Cardamom Bitters
  • Topped with soda

Garnish with a sugared pear. 

Thoroughbred Special

Cocktail developed by Adam McCraith, OBC Kitchen in Lexington, Kentucky

  • 1.3 oz. Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 22 Year Old
  • .5 oz. Honey simple syrup
  • 5-7 Mint leaves
  • Sparkling brut to finish

In mixing glass, add mint leaves and honey simple syrup.  Gently muddle ingredients to express essence of mint.  Add freshly cracked ice and Blade and Bow 22 Year Old.  Stir well.  Crush lavender infused ice, and pack into Julep Cup.  Fine strain spirit over crushed lavender ice in Julep Cup.  Top with sparkling brut.  Garnish with sprig of lavender and mint.

Vinceremos Julep

Cocktail developed by Marie Zahn, Hawthorn Beverage Group

  • 1.25 oz. I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • .75 oz. Amontillado Sherry
  • 1 tsp. Ginger Syrup
  • 8 Mint leaves and 3 fresh mint sprigs

Glassware: Julep Tin

Instructions: Lightly muddle mint and ginger syrup, add other ingredients and top with pebble/crushed ice. Swizzle briefly and top with more ice. Garnish with three mint sprigs and straw.

Glenfiddich:

Malt Julep

Created by Struan Ralph, Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador  

Ingredients: 

2 parts Glenfiddich 14 Year Old

Bruised mint leaves

Simple syrup

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Method: Build with crushed ice and garnish with mint sprigs in a traditional Julep cup

Woodford Reserve:

Woodford Reserve 2016 Kentucky Derby Mint Julep

created by NYC-based mixologist Julie Renee Williams:

  • 2oz Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select
  • .75oz Toasted Pecan Orgeat Syrup
  • Fresh Mint
  • Caramelized pecan crumbles for garnish
  • Edible copper flakes

Rub fresh mint around julep cup. Combine ingredients with crushed ice and swizzle in glass. Add more crushed ice, garnish with mint bunch, caramelized pecan crumbles and edible copper flakes.

To make toasted pecan orgeat, toast pecans, mix or muddle into small pieces and simmer on low heat to create a nut milk. Fine strain or use a nut milk bag to remove nut pieces, and add equal parts sugar to liquid.

Beam-Suntory:

Basil Hayden’s Derby Day Julep 
(By Joy Perrine, Louisville, KY)
Ingredients:
4 parts Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon
4 chopped Strawberries
10 Spearmint Leaves
4 Lemon Wedges
1 part Water
2 tbsp. Brown Sugar
Method:
1. Muddle brown sugar and water in pint glass until sugar dissolves.
2. Add chopped strawberries, lemon wedges and mint leaves and muddle well.
3. Add Basil Hayden’s and shake.
4. Add ice and shake once again.
5. Strain cocktail over crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig and strawberry.
Knob Creek® Mint Julep
 
Ingredients:
1 1/2 parts Knob Creek® Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon
2 bunches mint
1 part simple syrup* (see below)
1 splash soda
Method:
1. Mix sprigs of mint with simple syrup and a splash of soda.
2. Fill julep cup with fine crushed ice and pour in bourbon.
3. Lift out and decorate with two mint leaves.
4. Add powdered sugar over mint to add an optional frosted appearance.
*Simple Syrup Recipe
1. Combine equal parts of sugar and water in a saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until sugar is fully dissolved.
3. Allow to cool before using in cocktail.