I’m already eager for the weekend because I’m headed home to Kentuckiana for the Derby! I’m from the area and I love everything about the Derby- horses, fashion and hats, racing, cocktails… you name it, I’m probably excited about it. This year we’ll be staying for an extended weekend to tour the Bourbon Trail prior to the Run for the Roses. For those of you who aren’t traveling to Louisville for the race, don’t worry- I’m leaving you with a solid version of the official Kentucky Derby cocktail, the mint julep! This one is made with a twist- the citrus notes of clementine pair well with both the mint and bourbon.
Ingredients (makes 2 juleps):
1/2 clementine, peeled
13 mint leaves
1 1/2 ounces bourbon (I used Woodford Reserve)
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 mint sprigs for garnish
Add the clementine to a cocktail shaker and muddle. Add remaining ingredients one by one, excluding garnish. Fill the remainder of shaker with cubed ice. Shake well until combined. Strain into prepared mint julep cocktail glasses filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and clementine zest or peel.
Before you begin sipping these cocktails or travel to Kentucky for the Derby, check out these tips and traditions. You might also want to familiarize yourself with the horses running the race this year. Hey, you never know, your bet might just win! And- If you aren’t sure what to wear to the race or even to your Derby party, take a look at this guide for women and this one for men.
Follow along on Instagram for a look inside Churchill Downs on Derby Day, as well as my adventure on the Bourbon Trail.