Set up of Mint Julep ingredients including bourbon, mint, and crushed ice.

Celebrate the Kentucky Derby with These Betsy Cocktail Recipes

Story by:

We’re celebrating the Kentucky Derby this weekend in typical Betsy style — with some special craft cocktails and plenty of big hats. Come join the Derby party at The Betsy, or if you’re watching from home, bring The Betsy into your kitchen with these two Derby cocktail recipes.

The Betsy Mint Julep

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 oz bourbon 
  • 0.5 oz simple syrup (if you make it at home, the ratio is 1.5 to 1 sugar/water) 
  • 6 - 8 fresh mint leaves (use big, bright green leaves)
  • 1 mint sprig and straw for garnish
  • Crushed ice

Instructions:

Step 1: In a chilled cocktail glass (or traditional steel mug) add simple syrup and mint leaves. We won't be muddling, only stirring so make sure that prior to adding to the cocktail vessel you smack your mint leaves to release the mint oils. 

Step 2: Using your bar spoon, or a long-handled spoon, give this a nice stir (roughly 15 - 20 stirs) to welcome the syrup and mint to the party and release the mint's oils into syrup.

Step 3: Add the bourbon and stir again not nearly as many times.

Step 4: Crushed ice is vital to maximum enjoyment of this classic beverage. If you don't have at home, use a sealable plastic bag and rolling pin to lightly crush some ice from your freezer. Make sure to have a couple of paper towels handy and under the bag.

Step 5: Add crushed ice to the cocktail vessel and stir gently a few times. 

Step 6: Garnish with mint sprig and a straw, and enjoy!

Gettin’ Down and Derby (a cocktail for two)

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz bourbon 
  • 1 oz simple syrup (ratio is 1.5 to 1 sugar/water)
  • 15 fresh mint leaves (use big, bright green leaves)
  • 0.75 oz rosé champagne or rosé sparkling wine
  • 2 mint sprigs and a straw for garnish
  • Crushed ice

Instructions:

Step 1: Add simple syrup and mint leaves to a cocktail shaker. Gently muddle — only enough to introduce them — to release the mint oils.

Step 2:  Add the bourbon and use a bar spoon (or long-handled spoon) and stir gently.

Step 3: Strain the contents of the shaker into two stemless wine glasses.

Step 4: As with our mint julep, crushed ice is key. If you don't have any at home, take a sealable plastic bag and your ice from your freezer and rolling pin and lightly crush. Make sure to have a couple of paper towels handy and under the bag.

Step 5: Add the crushed ice to the cocktail vessel and stir gently a few times. 

Step 6: Top the cocktails with a float of rosé champagne to celebrate the “Run For The Roses."

Step 7: Garnish with mint sprigs, and you’re off to the races.


We hope you enjoy this taste of The Betsy (by way of Louisville) — and remember to tag us in your creations on Instagram!