My time flies when you’re having fun and it flies even faster when you’ve been sipping on the official Kentucky Derby Mint Julep. Now in its 13th year, it’s time to get lucky in Kentucky with an ice cold mint julep. If you’re up for it, you can visit historic Churchill Downs Racetrack during Kentucky Derby week and purchase you’re very own $1,000 Mint Julep Cup. Proceeds for this year’s cup will benefit the Jennifer Lawrence Arts Fund.

The 2018 Cup pays tribute to Kentucky by offering a quintessential julep crafted by Woodford Reserve’s newly appointed Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall and Master Distiller Chris Morris. This year’s cup, recipe and experience is presented under the theme: Best of Kentucky.

Woodford Reserve® 2018 Kentucky Derby® Mint Julep

Stay Informed: Sign up here for the Distillery Trail free email newsletter and be the first to get all the latest news, trends, job listings and events in your inbox.


  • 2 oz. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • 1 tsp Woodford County, Kentucky, Sorghum Simple Syrup
  • 2 Leaves of Kentucky Colonel Mint
  • Garnish: 3 spray red roses, a sprig of mint and a single rose petal from the Garland of Roses, which is draped on the winning Derby horse.


  • Rub mint around the julep cup, expressing the essential oils.
  • Add remaining ingredients and top with crushed ice made from limestone-filtered water sourced from the Woodford Reserve Distillery.
  • Churn ingredients with a bar spoon distributing the flavor.
  • Top with additional crushed ice and garnish.

Optional: Make Your Own Sorghum Simple Syrup

  • Mix 1 cup water with 1 cup sorghum syrup. Heat over medium heat, stirring until they come together. Let cool.

The cups are handcrafted by Louisville-based jeweler, From the Vault, and each cup is adorned with embellishments representative of the Best of Kentucky. For the first time, the Twin Spires appear on the cup. The running lines around the cup symbolize the limestone-filtered water, a key ingredient that makes the best bourbon. Not only is the water superior for bourbon production, but it is also one of the elements that make thoroughbred champions in Kentucky. Limestone water is iron-free and rich in calcium and magnesium, which is perfect for the development and strengthening of horses’ bones. In addition to the limestone water and the Twin Spires, the cups also feature three sterling silver applications: a thoroughbred horse and jockey, a bottle of Woodford Reserve, and a rose as an ode to the “Run for the Roses™.”

“Woodford Reserve is honored to bring together two of Kentucky’s greatest traditions — Derby and bourbon — through our $1,000 Mint Julep Cup program,” said Mark Bacon, Woodford Reserve Global Brand Director. “A premium celebration like The Kentucky Derby deserves a premium cocktail.”

Upgrade to the $2,500 Commonwealth Cup

The Best of Kentucky is brought to life through individually hand casted applications in rich sterling silver. The $1,000 “Bluegrass Cup” features high polished sterling silver rose applications, plated in 18 karat yellow gold. The $2,500 “Commonwealth Cup” is a sterling silver cup with a 24-karat heavy reliquary quality gold plating, with a striking contrast of sterling silver detail.

Each cup will be presented in a wooden box lined with silks like those worn by jockeys. Cup buyers will have access to the Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Tent and bar on derby day, where they will receive their handcrafted mint julep.

Proceeds to Benefit Jennifer Lawrence Arts Fund

  • Save
Each year, Woodford Reserve selects a charitable organization to receive the net proceeds from the $1,000 Mint Julep Cup sales with more than $450,000 raised for equine and racing charities to-date. This year’s receiving charity, the Jennifer Lawrence Arts Fund, was created in 2016 by Louisville native and actress Jennifer Lawrence to assist and empower organizations that fulfill children’s needs and drives art access to positively impact the lives of young people.

“The Jennifer Lawrence Arts Fund is proud to partner with Woodford Reserve, whose own story represents the very best of Kentucky. We are passionate about leveraging the transformative power of the arts in Kentucky and beyond.” said Meredith Lawrence, director of the Jennifer Lawrence Arts Fund. “Through the JLAF and Woodford Reserve’s support, we can better deliver collaborative and innovative arts impact.”

Please help to support Distillery Trail. Sign up for our Newsletter, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Recommended Posts