Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion Spring

7 Drinks for Your Kentucky Derby Party

On Saturday afternoon, 20 of the fastest thoroughbreds from around the world will try to cover Churchill Downs’ mile-and-a-quarter track in the shortest time. For those glorious two minutes (and the rest of the day), we’ll be cheering on the jockeys as we sip a delicious Kentucky Derby cocktail.

The Mint Julep is synonymous with the race, and drinking one is practically required. But for your second round, we suggest you try fixing one of these other appropriately equine recipes this weekend.

So whether you’re betting it all on Normandy Invasion or simply enjoying the spectacle, we hope you’ll like these delicious Derby Day recipes. Now let the race begin!

  • Mint Julep

    No matter which horse wins, the real star of the Derby is this cocktail. In fact, more than 100,000 Mint Juleps are served during the two-day celebration at Churchill Downs itself. That’s understandable, since the refreshing mixture of bourbon, sugar and mint is the perfect thing for a hot, sunny afternoon!

    View Recipe: Mint Julep

  • Jockey Club

    This classic equestrian tipple shares its name with the breed registry for all Thoroughbreds born in North America. It’s a delightfully rich variation on the traditional Manhattan, mixing bourbon and sweet vermouth with maraschino liqueur. Our recipe comes from advisory board member and master distiller Allen Katz.

    View Recipe: Jockey Club

  • Tim Nusog

    Horse’s Neck

    This refreshing ginger ale-based drink dates back to the late 1800s and was originally a non-alcoholic thirst quencher. The dram of American whiskey was added later on, making this classic mixture what it is today. With only two ingredients, the sipper is an ideal Derby party cocktail.

    View Recipe: Horse’s Neck

  • Preakness

    Another close relative of the Manhattan, this satisfying cocktail isn’t complete without a dash of Bénédictine for a bit of herbal complexity. It, of course, also shares its name with the second leg of the Triple Crown, taking place this year on May 18 at Pimlico Race Course in Maryland.

    View Recipe: Preakness

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  • Man o’ War

    This citrusy bourbon libation is named for one of history’s greatest racehorses—the stallion who won 20 of the 21 races that he ran and who grandfathered another racing legend, Seabiscuit. And while he never competed in the Derby, Man o’ War won the two other legs of the Triple Crown in 1920. So join us in raising a glass to the fine Thoroughbred.

    View Recipe: Man o’ War

  • 1792 Kentucky White Dog Julep

    Looking to spice up your Derby experience? Mix up this twist on the classic Julep, which calls for a healthy dose of moonshine. advisory board member and award-winning author David Wondrich created this tasty tipple last year in honor of Kentucky’s 220th anniversary of being a state.

  • Cognac Mint Julep

    While cognac in your Mint Julep might sound crazy, the drink was actually made originally with brandy—not bourbon. Jerry Thomas even includes a cognac and rum variation in his seminal 1862 guide, How to Mix Drinks. Who are we to disagree?

    View Recipe: Cognac Mint Julep