Time to shake things up.

The Kentucky Derby and the Mint Julep go together as well as any dynamic duo should – there is no denying they make a classic combination. Every first Saturday in May since 1938, equestrians and laymen alike have been sure to sip on the bourbon cocktail while enjoying their time at the races. Although there is nothing wrong with the Churchill Down’s signature drink, after 80 years we can all agree that it’s time to mix things up.

With that in mind, I have found three delectable cocktails that will make even the most rooted in the Kentucky Derby’s history and tradition think about putting their mint juleps down for good.

Mule mug

The Kentucky Mule

With their signature copper mugs, Moscow Mules bring a fresh-farmhouse feel to any party, which makes them perfect for this southern, spring event. Plus, the fresh mint leaves and bright lime flavor makes them the perfect beverage to sip whiles sporting a sundress. The Kentucky Mule pays homage to the classic, using bourbon instead of vodka (however, if your more of a vodka girl like me, feel free to make the sub!).

What You’ll Need:

Mixing Instructions:

  1. Fill each of your copper mugs with 1/2 of a lime and the 3-4 mint leaves. Muddle with a wooden spoon.
  2. Add crushed ice and pour in 2 ounces of bourbon.
  3. Fill the mug with ginger beer until full.
  4. Garnish with mint and lime.
  5. Serve, sip and enjoy!


Frozen Whiskey Sour Margarita

When summertime is around the corner, you can find me with a margarita in hand. Just one sip and you can basically feel the beach beneath your feet. That’s why this margarita with a Kentucky Derby twist is the perfect way to celebrate the official event of spring and the promise of a fun-filled summer to come. 

What You’ll Need:

Mixing Instructions:

  1. Grab a cocktail shaker and fill it with 2 limes, cut into small wedges.
  2. Sprinkle the limes with about 3 tablespoons of sugar and add in about 8-10 mint leaves.
  3. With a wooden spoon, muddle everything together well to make sure enough juice is squeezed out of the limes so that the sugar can dissolve.
  4. Add your whiskey and orange liquor.
  5. Add ice to your cocktail shaker and shake, shake shake. Strain your mixture into a blender.
  6. Add ice to the blender and pulse until smooth.
  7. Top your frozen treat with some lemon-lime soda and a lime wedge.
  8. Sip until summertime arrives.


Blackberry Mojito

Although this drink throws tradition straight out the door, it must be included in any Kentucky Derby soiree simply because it is so, so good. The beautiful color of the blackberries goes well with any fascinator and is sure to impress any guest.

What You’ll Need:

Mixing Instructions:

  1. Add about 8 mint leaves, 1/2 cup of blackberries, and 1-2 tablespoons of the agave syrup to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Using a wooden spoon, muddle everything together.
  3. Add some ice, 1/2 cup of rum and 1/4 cup of lime juice to the shaker.
  4. Shake, shake shake.
  5. Fill two glasses with more ice and strain the liquid over the ice.
  6. Top your glasses with the lime seltzer and garnish with some fresh blackberries.

What is your favorite way to reinvent a classic cocktail?

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