Saturday, May 4th, hundreds of lucky people will be donning their best Derby attire; suits, ties, top hats, and possibly cravats for the men, while ladies will find their best Spring dresses, most comfortable stylish shoes, clutch purses, and the fashionable bonnets and fascinators (those kind of hat looking things with feathers) that inspire copious comments from those who see them.
This once a year event inspires people from around the world to tune in and participate in the main event– the race itself. 20 very special three-year-old Thoroughbred contenders will race a distance of 1.25 miles for the privilege of a blanket of roses, being named a Kentucky Derby winner and a chance to be a Triple Crown winner if continuing to race, and win, at the Preakness and Belmont Stakes races.
In anticipation of Derby day, you’ll want to choose a bourbon for the official Derby drink– The Mint Julep. While Woodford Reserve (the 2019 Presenting Sponsor of the Kentucky Derby, Official Bourbon of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby, and Presenting Sponsor of Road to the Kentucky Derby) and Old Forester (the Official Mint Julep Drink of the 2019 Kentucky Derby and Presenting Sponsor of Thurby) are sponsors of this year’s race, and long standing attendees of Whiskies of the World, there are many bourbon brands available to choose from for your Mint Julep.
The ingredients are simple (bourbon, mint, simple syrup and ice) and drink mixologists have been perfecting this beverage with a varying bourbons and mint types.
Perfect your own unique Julep by choosing the bourbon* you like.
Bourbon: Made in America from a mash of at least 51% corn grain. Corn creates a sweetness to the final bourbon.
Barrel strength: Typically in the range of 110 proof, but less than 190 proof.
Flavored and seasonal bourbon: Bourbon infused with or flavor added to the batch once barreled. Popular flavors are cinnamon, honey, apple or vanilla.
The other way to mix up the Julep is the mint you choose. There are 600 varieties of mint to choose from! Here’s a few to consider:
Sweet mint: rich spearmint flavor.
Pineapple mint: sweeter, fruitier flavor.
Apple mint: less minty than peppermint or spearmint, apple mint tastes fruity.
Chocolate mint: delightful minty chocolate flavor
Lavender mint: a floral, pungent aroma with a woody, earthy, smokey flavor
However you like your bourbon or choose your favorite horse, we hope you’ll have the best Kentucky Derby party!
*The Federal Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits (27 CFR 5) state that bourbon must meet these requirements: Bourbon must be made of a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn. Bourbon must be distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof (80% alcohol by volume). Bourbon must be aged in new, charred oak barrels.