The Kentucky Derby and a Mint Julep


kentucky derby

Kentucky Derby History and Facts:

With 138 editions of The Kentucky Derby, the Run for the Roses ranks as the oldest continuously run sporting event in America, since it first began in 1875. With over a century worth of history, the Derby remains a timeless hallmark of Spring and is regarded as a great American Tradition. Many customs have become synonymous with the first Saturday in May.

Run For the Roses

Dubbed “the Run for the Roses” the famous garland of Roses draped over the Victor, is a tradition held steady for nearly a century and the Rose officially became the flower of the Kentucky Derby in 1904. In the box seats of Churchill Downs, some of the most popular celebrities, dignitaries and athletes will enjoy their Derby experience on the legendary “Millionaires Row”

Hats, Hats and More Hats

The only things bigger than the race itself are the Hats. Men and Women alike will wear their finest head-wear to celebrate Kentucky Derby Day.  Since 1938, the Mint Julep has been the official drink of the Derby. The ingredients have stayed the same.  Mint, sugar, spring water, crushed ice and Kentucky whiskey, usually Early Times. Cool, Strong, Minty and Delicious.


While the Derby is full of history and traditions there are none that rival the powerful moment when the band begins to play “My Old Kentucky Home” as the horses step onto the track. This show of tradition can bring tears to a grown mans eyes, or so some say. Personally, I have never had the pleasure of attending the Kentucky Derby but I do know people who have. I’ve been told that it’s something you should experience at least once.

Make Mint Juleps with Early Times Kentucky Whiskey

Mint Julep

A tradition as old as the Kentucky Derby itself.
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  • 3 ounces Kentucky Whiskey such as Early Times
  • 4 to 6 sprigs mint leaves
  • sugar cubes
  • spring water


  • Put mint, sugar and a small amount of bourbon or spring water into the bottom of a mixing glass. Gently muddle the mint and sugar. Let stand for a bit to allow mint leaves to release their flavor. Strain and pour into a julep cup, rotating to coat the sides. Fill with crushed ice, then add the rest of the whiskey.
  • Garnish with a slapped small mint sprig.
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kentucky derby
Mint Juleps are traditionally served in a metal julep cup. Here is another sensational Kentucky Derby inspired recipe. Kentucky Derby Favorites
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