The Kentucky Derby is an all American risk taking moment in which a desired result is really beside the point. This first Saturday in May gambling event is without a doubt a celebration of miles of gingham and seersucker and illustrious (think outrageous) hats to see and in which to be seen. The festivities get started with "millionaires" and "revelers" enjoying each other's idiosyncrasies--those whose extravagant ticket prices afford an unobstructed view of the race's finish line, an opportunity to rub shoulders with celebrities, a meat carving station, and the grinder and pizza Mardi Gras like crowd who are at the track more or less to socialize (the track is nearly invisible from the infield). A common element between the two Churchill Downs party goers is the mint garnished ice cold Kentucky bourbon cocktail served to everyone in an aristocratic looking tin memorabilia cup. This recipe is adapted from NYC's storied speakeasy DEATH & CO.'s timeless reference craft cocktail book. From whatever vantage point, the adornment of a gorgeous 554 rose garland blanket for the thoroughbred Run for the Roses winner is a nearly century and a half old horse racing tradition which results in two of the most euphoric minutes in sports. Go ahead don a party hat and place your bet!

Kitchen Notes
Never disappointing, the specific brands of alcohol used by Death & Co.'s mixologists make a difference in the outcome of the beverage. Just as good ingredients are the key to the best food, spirits are the foundation of a mighty cocktail. Baker’s is an exceptional quality, handcrafted, ultra-premium bourbon whiskey produced in limited quantities from a unique recipe dating back two hundred years. A special strain of jug yeast creates the silky smooth texture and consistent taste in the 107 proof, seven year handcrafted small batch Baker's bourbon whiskey. If Baker's bourbon unavailable, use another premium handcrafted 100 proof Kentucky bourbon. Chill the MINT JULEP CUPS in the freezer to ensure a frosty, refreshing drink. 


1. To make the simple syrup, put the castor sugar and hot water in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

2. Pour the bourbon and 1/4 ounce of simple syrup into a julep cup. Fill the cup halfway with crushed ice.

3. Stir with a teaspoon churning the ice as you go, for about 10 seconds, holding the tin by the rim so the entire tin frosts up.

4. Add additional crushed ice to fill the cup two thirds full and stir until the cup itself is icy cold and frosty. 

5. Add more ice to form a cone above the rim. Garnish with mint bouquet and serve with a drinking straw.



  • 2 ounces Baker's Bourbon

  • 1 cup castor sugar

  • 1 cup of hot water

  • Crushed ice

  • 1 mint bouquet