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Racing Cocktails: The Mint Julep And The Oaks Lily

Posted: 9:19 AM, May 04, 2018
Updated: 2019-03-13 10:19:11-04

LOUISVILLE, Ky. ( Kentucky Derby )– There are two cocktails that are synonymous with horse racing in the Bluegrass, the Mint Julep and the Oaks Lily.

The Mint Julep has been the traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby for nearly a century.

Each year, almost 120,000 Mint Juleps are served over the two-day period of Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby weekend at Churchill Downs Racetrack. That’s a feat that requires more than 10,000 bottles of Old Forester Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint and 60,000 pounds of ice.

The Old Forester Mint Julep Recipe

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Sprigs of fresh mint
  • Crushed ice
  • Old Forester Straight Bourbon Whisky
  • Silver Julep Cups

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Old ForesterKentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

The Finlandia Oaks Lily

  • 1 1/4 oz.  Finlandia® Vodka
  • 1 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix
  • 1/4 oz. Triple Sec
  • 3 oz. Cranberry Juice

Once the ingredients are mixed, place the pinkish cocktail in a stemless wine glass with crushed ice, add a straw and garnish with a blackberry and lemon wedge.