Celebrate the Kentucky Derby with a $1000 mint julep

Ever sipped a $1000 Mint Julep? Get a taste of what it’s like, the cause behind it and find out how you can order your very own. Woodford Reserve Master Taster Elizabeth McCall tells us more:

Kentucky Derby & Woodford Reserve $1000 Mint Julep

About the program

Bourbon and the Kentucky Derby go hand and hand. As such, Woodford Reserve has a longstanding history with the Derby as the Official Bourbon. Woodford Reserve is now in its 12th year of offering $1,000 Mint Julep Cups at the race. These cups feature an elaborate, unique design serving a handcrafted julep cocktail featuring premium ingredients selected specifically for each year’s race, with net proceeds from the Cups benefiting a charity.

This year’s program

This year’s Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup is presented under one theme: The Sport of Kings and … Queens. The 2017 Cup pays tribute to the British origins of the Kentucky Derby. The inspiration for this years’ experience began in 1872 when Churchill Downs founder Meriwether Lewis Clark traveled to England to attend the Epsom Derby – a popular horse race attended by British royalty and high society. Upon returning to the states, he modeled the Kentucky Derby after the Epsom Derby elevating horse racing to be a sophisticated affair. Many of our Derby cues are garnered from those english inspirations.

  • The Cup: This year’s cup draws inspiration from British photographer, Eadweard Muybridge’s famous “horse-in motion” film strip. He was the first to capture that all four hooves do leave the ground allowing a horse to “fly”. The cup features a simplified animation of a horse’s trip around the track which can be seen by rotating the cup and using a bit of imagination.
  • The $1,000 cups feature 18 karat yellow gold over the sterling silver horse and riders, the crown, rose and horseshoe creating a trilogy of flight around the cup. The $2,500 cups are gold-plated sterling silver with a 24 karat heavy reliquary quality gold plating, with a striking contrast of high polished sterling silver detail.
  • The crown marks the Sport of Kings and Queens (Queen Elizabeth II attended Derby 10 years ago). The rose is of course, our famous” Run for the Roses” and the horseshoe promises a little luck in every cup.
  • Each cup is adorned with the 2017 Kentucky Derby date, Woodford Reserve logo and is accompanied by a sipping straw. The cups will be presented in a gold diamond-patterned “purse” inspired by the original “purse” in which the prize money was delivered for early Derby winners.
  • There are 90 pewter Noble Cups for $1,000, and 15 gold-plated, sterling silver Royal Cups for $2,500. Consumers can purchase cups online at woodfordreservemintjulep.com with net proceeds going to the Kentucky Derby Museum. Cups are available for purchase online through May 5, 2017 at 12:00 pm EST and a limited number will be available at Churchill Downs on Derby Day.

The Cocktail Recipe

This year’s recipe is created by Tom Vernon, Woodford Reserve Global Brand Ambassador, who happens to be british in addition to his mastery of mixology. Inspired by the origins of the race, Tom created a one-of a kind julep featuring traditional British ingredients including Pimm’s Liqueur, elderflower cordial, and earl grey bitters.

The Charity

This year’s $1,000 Mint Julep Cup experience celebrates history. Woodford Reserve is proud to partner with The Kentucky Derby Museum supporting their mission to preserve the history, tradition, hospitality and pride of the world-renown event that is the Kentucky Derby.

Woodford Reserve 2017 $1,000 Mint Julep recipe:

1.5 oz Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon

1/4 oz Pimm’s Liqueur®

1/2 oz Elderflower Cordial

1/4 oz Woodford Reserve® Mint Julep Simple Syrup

1 dash Earl Grey bitters

Handful of mint

Rub mint around the julep cup, expressing the essential oils. Add remaining ingredients and top with crushed ice. Churn ingredients with a bar spoon distributing the flavor. Top with additional crushed ice. Garnish with a bundle of baby’s breath and mint. Sprinkle with dehydrated edible blue cornflowers.

To learn more, visit: