The Mint Julep has been the traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby for nearly a century. It debuted at the Derby in the 1930s, and today is made with Old Forester bourbon; a nice fit considering that bourbon was introduced in 1870, just five years before the Derby.
Each year, almost 120,000 Mint Juleps are served over the two-day period of Kentucky Derby and Oaks weekend at Churchill Downs Racetrack. That’s a feat that requires more than 10,000 bottles of Old Forester Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, 60,000 pounds of crushed ice, and nearly 4,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint, which has been sourced locally from Dohn and Dohn Gardens in Louisville, Kentucky for more than 30 years.
If you are coming to the track, be sure to try the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. If you will be celebrating from home, use this Old Forester Mint Julep Recipe to make your own!
The Old Forester Mint Julep Recipe
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- Sprigs of fresh mint
- Crushed ice
- Old Forester Straight Bourbon Whisky
- Silver Julep Cups
Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Old Forester Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.