Derby-inspired Cocktail Recipes

Derby-inspired Cocktail Recipes

The quarantine won't stop Derby fans from celebrating the beloved race and traditions from home! So to help you prepare for #KYDerbyAtHome on May 2, we reached out to our in-house experts at the Kentucky Derby Museum, the Rosemary's Catering crew, to put together some drink recipes that you can whip up at home to make your Derby Day just as refreshing as if you were at the track. 

Credit : Rosemary’s Catering at the Kentucky Derby Museum

Mint Julep 

  • 1 ½ - 2 ounces simple syrup – to taste (recipe below)
  • 4-5 mint leaves
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • Garnish: mint sprig

In a Julep cup or rocks glass, lightly muddle the mint and simple syrup with a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon. Add the bourbon and pack tightly with crushed ice. Stir until the cup is frosted on the outside. Top with a mint sprig. 

Mint simple Syrup: 

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Let cool and pour into a jar and seal tightly with a lid. Simple syrup will keep, refrigerated, for about one month. 

Bourbon & 
Champagne Cocktail 

  • 1 ounce bourbon 
  • 1/2 ounce orange liqueur 
  • Several dashes Angostura bitters 
  • Several dashes Peychaud’s bitters 
  • 2 ounces sparkling wine 
  • Garnish: orange twist

Stir bourbon, orange liqueur, and bitters (don’t be shy with the bitters) with ice and strain into a champagne glass. Top with sparkling wine and serve with the orange twist. 


  • 2.5 ounces watermelon lemonade
  • 1 ounce margarita mix
  • Squeeze of lime
  • Splash of ginger ale or ginger beer (to taste) 

Stir watermelon lemonade and margarita mix. Pour over ice and add a squeeze of lime. Top with ginger ale or ginger beer to taste.

Chelsea Niemeier

Chelsea Niemeier

Senior Graphic Designer for the Kentucky Derby Museum.