An “Inspired” Cocktail with Woodford Reserve

Woodford Reserve has come out with an inspired cocktail to celebrate the 145th Kentucky Derby. What cocktail? Where can people get it?

Woodford Reserve mint julep setWoodford Reserve has been selected to be the presenting sponsor of the 145th Kentucky Derby and has revealed its celebrated annual Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Cup.

To mark this special day, this years Mint Julep recipe includes a different kind of offering – a Kentucky honey sweetener that has rested inside an oak barrel for 145 days at the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs.

In its 14th year, the Mint Julep program is a Derby tradition. This years recipe was crafted by Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris and Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall.

The celebratory program this year will pay tribute to the John Asher Memorial Scholarship Fund at Western Kentucky University. John Asher was a longtime Vice President of Racing Communications and spokesman of Churchill Downs that died suddenly in August of 2018. Woodford is honoring the WKU alum through this years Mint Julep Program and donating funds to the bright minds at his college.

Woodford Reserve gold plated mint julep cup“Woodford Reserve is honored to bring together two of Kentucky’s greatest traditions — Derby and bourbon — through our $1,000 Mint Julep Cup program,” Master Distiller Chris Morris said. “A premium celebration like The Kentucky Derby deserves an opulent cocktail. This year, we are deeply honored to celebrate the life and legacy of John Asher.”

Each Mint Julep cup will be presented in a wooden box lined with jokey silks featuring the iconic flask-shaped Woodford Reserve bottle. The silver cups are handcrafted by Louisville jewler from the Vault and each is adorned with embellishments representing the Best of Kentucky.

Etched on the cup are the Twin Spires and barrels prominently displayed on the sides. The cups also feature a bottle of Woodford Reserve, tying together the ingredients needed for the Kentucky Derby. The original grandstand at Churchill Downs is the inspiration for the scrollwork.


  • 2 oz. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • 2 bar spoons of Inspired Honey Sweetener (made by Hosey Honey of Midway, Kentucky)
  • 2 Mint Leaves
  • Garnish: Shaved honeycomb (also from Hosey Honey) and a sprig of mint

Woodford Reserve silver mint julep cupInstructions:

  • Rub mint around the julep cup, expressing the essential oils and place the mint leaf in the bottom of the cup.
  • Drizzle two bar spoons of honey sweetener in the cup, followed by two ounces of Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon, mixing the ingredients together.
  • Pack ice into the cup, followed by placing the sipping straw.
  • Layer loose ice on top, with a splash of Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon to settle your drink.
  • Garnish with shaved honeycomb and a sprig of mint.

There will be 145 cups available – 125 silver cups and 20 silver cups plated in gold. Sales of the cup begin at 10 am on April 10 to consumers ages 21 years and up. The sale closes at noon on April 30, 2019. Click here to purchase your Mint Julep Cup.

Woodford Reserve mint julep setCup buyers will have access to the Woodford Reserve Mint Julep Tent and hospitality area on Derby day, where they will receive their handcrafted mint julep.

Any unsold cups will be available for purchase at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day. Purchase of cup does not include admission to Churchill Downs. Purchased cups must be claimed by the buyer or his or her submitted and approved proxy at Churchill Downs on Derby Day between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm.





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