Woodford Reserve Distillery - 2024 $1,000 & $5,000 Kentucky Derby Rose Mint Julep

Spring is in the air, and we are approaching the first Saturday in May which means it’s almost Kentucky Derby time. The Kentucky Derby is known for horses, hats, cigars, Millionaires Row, bourbon and of course the mint julep and this year is no different except it’s a celebration of the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby.

As has been done for the last 25 years, Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Kentucky, is the official bourbon of the Derby. For many years now Churchill Downs and Woodford have offered a special mint julep to celebrate the most exciting two minutes in sports and this year is no different.

For 2024 Woodford is offering a $1,000 Mint Julep in a silver cup adorned with 44 hand-laid green crystals and a sterling silver sipping straw topped with a copper embellishment. The Woodford Reserve $5,000 Mint Julep comes in a gold cup with 44 hand-laid synthetic white sapphires and a sterling silver sipping straw topped with sterling silver embellishment.

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Money raised from the sale of the Mint Juleps is raised for charity. A total of 300 rare julep cups have been created to mark the historic occasion. Each features the iconic Twin Spires of Churchill Downs adorned in either green crystals or synthetic white sapphires.

“These julep cups are a tribute to 150 years of greatness,” said Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall. “They’re a true spectacle, and every detail has been handcrafted.”

Proceeds this year will support the Backside Learning Center, an independent non-profit organization providing support and resources for the diverse community of racetrack workers and their families at Churchill Downs.

Churchill Downs Backside
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Proceeds from the sale of the 2024 Mint Julep cups benefit ‘The Backside Learning Center’.

“We are excited to have been chosen by the Woodford Reserve team as the beneficiary of the julep cup proceeds this year. We see every day the hard work and sacrifice that is made by hundreds of people who are truly the unsung heroes of the sport,” said Sherry Stanley, Executive Director at The Backside Learning Center. “The awareness and support this opportunity will bring is critical to our important mission, as we provide transformational programs and services to a community that is so central to the industry.”

Handmade by Louisville-based jeweler From the Vault, each cup features the racetrack’s famed Twin Spires. The cup also features an engraving marking the 150th anniversary of The Kentucky Derby, 1875-2024.

A total of 300 cups are available:

  • 200 are silver cups, priced at $1,000, featuring 44 hand-laid green crystals.
  • 100 are gold cups, priced at $5,000, featuring 44 hand-laid synthetic white sapphires. The gold cups include a commemorative, limited-edition coffee table book that explores the 150 years of The Kentucky Derby.

The cups can be picked up at the opulent $1,000 Mint Julep Cup Experience at Churchill Downs on Friday, May 3 (Kentucky Oaks Day) or Saturday, May 4 (Derby Day). For the first time, customers can choose to have the cups shipped to their homes, arriving in time for Derby celebrations.

The mint julep recipe for 2024 features Woodford Reserve Bourbon and handmade rose-infused honey simple syrup, which honors the celebration of the 150th Run for the Roses®.

This year’s cocktail is “The Rose Mint Julep’ made with bourbon, rose-infused simple syrup, mint leaves and a rose for garnish. You can find the full recipe and instructions as presented by Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Emeritus Chris Morris here.

Woodford Reserve is the presenting sponsor of the Kentucky Derby. Woodford Reserve bourbon is crafted at the historic Woodford Reserve Distillery, tucked in the heart of thoroughbred country in Versailles, Kentucky. A National Historic Landmark, the Woodford Reserve Distillery represents craftsmanship with a balance of historic heritage and modern practices.

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