Riders Up! Celebrating the Kentucky Derby with a Mint Julep at Home

Updated: Apr 30

The Kentucky Derby is a horse race held annually on the first weekend of May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Back for its 147th year, it’s a fast and fun event that caps off a two week festival. Among the many traditions of the Kentucky Derby, including the race itself, horse betting and ladies wearing fabulous hats and fascinators, its most ubiquitous tradition is the Derby’s official drink — the Mint Julep.

The Mint Julep is a cocktail consisting of bourbon, mint and sugar syrup. It has been promoted by Churchill Downs in association with the Derby since 1938. Every year, almost 120,000 Mint juleps are served at Churchill Downs over the two-day period of the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby, virtually all of them in specially made Kentucky Derby collectible glasses that feature previous winners.

The term “julep” is lightly defined as a “sweet drin