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The Race for the Roses and Mint Juleps

It's almost time for the Kentucky Derby! As you virtually tune into this springtime tradition, join us in toasting the "Race for the Roses" with our favorite Mint Julep recipes.

The Race for the Roses and Mint Juleps

Bring the Kentucky Derby to you and your family with the sweet and refreshing taste of a proper Mint Julep cocktail. The Mint Julep, an iconic drink of the Kentucky Derby, is made with bourbon, sugar, and muddled mint leaves. While the classic Mint Julep cocktail is a keeper, we know you’ll also love these recipe variations!

Don’t forget to throw in some awesome (and low-cost) DIY party activities, courtesy of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby. Our favorites include the DIY Paper Flower Fascinator to help you accessorize for the occasion and the "Run for the Roses" horseshoe wreath, which you can reuse year after year! No Kentucky Derby would be complete without a kid-friendly party for the little ones, with their own DIY Horse Puppets and even their own paper Horseshoe rose wreath!

Union-Made Bourbon

Grab these union-made bourbon brands for your Mint Julep recipes.

4 Roses Henry Mckenna
Ancient Age Jim Beam
Basil Hayden Kentucky Gentlemen
Benchmark Knob Creek
Blanton’s Mr. Boston
Eagle Rare Old Taylor
E.H. Taylor Rock Hill Farms
Elijah Craig Very Old Barton


Classic Mint Julep Cocktail

The Classic Mint Julep is an all-time favorite of race fans and bourbon lovers. Alton Brown’s Mint Julep recipe is very simple to prepare and is sure to satisfy.


  • 2 ½ ounces bourbon
  • 1 ½ superfine sugar (Domino’s, Imperial Sugar, Nutrataste, Sweet & Low)
  • 10 mint leaves
  • Seltzer water
  • Crushed ice


Place the mint leaves in the bottom of an old-fashioned glass and top with the sugar. Muddle these together until the leaves begin to break down. Add a splash of seltzer water, fill the glass 3/4 full with crushed ice, and add the bourbon. Top with another splash of seltzer, stir, and garnish with a sprig of mint. Serve immediately.

Mint Julep Milkshake

Everything is better with ice cream and whipped cream - especially this Mint Julep Milkshake recipe, courtesy of Food Network Kitchen. Enjoy this frozen and decadent drink inspired by the classic Mint Julep cocktail.


  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream (Barber’s, Breyers, Blue Bonnet, Country Fresh, Creamland Dairies, Good Humor, Labelle, Orchard Harvest, Prairie Farms, The Materson Company)
  • 2 teaspoons mint-flavored liqueur
  • Whipped cream (Barber’s, Breakstone, Country Fresh, Creamland Dairies, Prairie Farms, The Materson Company)
  • Mint leaves


Refrigerate 1 large or 2 small glasses to chill. Blend the ice cream, bourbon and liqueur in a blender on medium-high speed until the mixture is uniform and creamy, about 1 minute. Pour it into the chilled glass(es), top with whipped cream and garnish with mint leaves.

Kid-Friendly Mint Julep

This alcohol-free Mint Julep recipe, courtesy of Taste of Home, is a thirst-quenching and fizzy drink that is great for both adults and kids. Everyone can enjoy it and you won’t miss the bourbon!


  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 ½ cups sugar (Domino’s, Imperial Sugar, Nutrataste, Sweet & Low)
  •  ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 2 ½ cup ginger ale
  • 6 mint sprigs
  • 5 cups of ice
  • Lemon slices


In a large bowl, combine the water, sugar, lemon juice and mint. Let stand for at least 45 minutes. Strain and discard mint. Place ice cubes in two 2-qt. pitchers; add half of the lemon mixture and ginger ale to each. Garnish with lemon and mint if desired.

The union-made products information in this list comes from the IBEW, Local One, and Directory for Union-Made Goods and Services.