How to Make The $1,000 Mint Julep Served at the Kentucky Derby

Gold-plated straw optional. 

Every year, thousands gather at Churchill Downs to celebrate three minutes of horse racing with twelve hours of drinking. It’s a day when excess is king, and the only things bigger than the bets placed are the wide-brimmed hats worn by the debutantes in attendance. The most over-the-top item at the Kentucky Derby, however, is the just-for-glory $1,000 Mint Julep sold every year by Woodford Reserve. The 2015 spin on the classic mint, bourbon, crushed ice, and powdered sugar cocktail cherished by all proud Kentuckians (they serve an estimated 120,000 $8 versions over the course of two days at the Derby) was created by mixologist Pamela Wiznitzer and sees Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, coconut simple syrup, chocolate mint sprigs, and candied lemon slices served in a gold-plated julep cup (either gold or silver) adorned with a hand-engraved image of racing thoroughbreds. Don’t worry, it’s not meant for bragging rights alone: all proceeds of the 2015 version go to the Wounded Warrior Equestrian Program. Still, it’s a showstopper nonetheless. If you’re not able to make it to the Downs, or can’t afford the price tag, here’s how to create your own.

Woodford Reserve 2015 Kentucky Derby Mint Julep

• 2 oz Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

• .75 oz Coconut Palm Sugar Syrup

• 6-8 Chocolate Mint Sprigs

• Candied Orange and Lemon Slices for garnish

• Powdered Sugar

Combine ingredients and shake with the mint. In the Julep glass, place three sprigs

of the mint at the bottom and top with crushed ice. Strain over crushed ice into a julep glass, insert metal spoon straw. Top with a mint sprig and candied orange or lemon slice and powdered sugar.