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MAKE IT MINTY, ALL OF APRIL

Springtime in Louisville gets us all in mint condition for the Derby with the celebration of Mint Julep Month®

The Mint Julep is a fine Southern tradition dating back to the 18th Century, as well as the official drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1938. Today, more than 120,000 Mint Juleps are served over Derby weekend at the historic Churchill Downs racetrack.

Since 2013, Louisville has designated April as “Mint Julep Month®” celebrating the official cocktail of the Derby and the arrival of Spring in Kentucky.

Mint Julep Month is a fantastic way to get in the Derby spirit, even if you aren’t planning a visit to Louisville.  Find events nation-wide, or learn to make one at home from the hosts of Bourbon & Biscuits.

Planning on visiting Louisville this April to celebrate with us? As soon as you land at the Louisville International Airport you’ll find an 8x10ft wall of greenery constructed entirely of more than 700 fresh mint plants. Stop by Book & Bourbon as your for or last stop on the Urban Bourbon Trail for a Woodford Reserve Mint Julep served in a keepsake copper Woodford Reserve julep cup. Check out our Events Section for tours, parties, classes & more. See our Shopping Section for Mint Julep themed items from chocolates to soaps. Or, visit the Eat and Drink section to find places where you can sink your teeth into, and of course sip on, the Mint Julep.  

URBAN BOURBON TRAIL

Make it Minty the whole month of April! Take a photo with you and a Mint Julep and post it to social media using the hashtag #MintJulepMonth to receive a free Louisville Mint Julep Cup only redeemable at our Visitor Center. The majority of our Urban Bourbon Trail stops will be serving up their own specialty Mint Juleps so don’t forget to get your UBT Passport stamped because six stops on the trail qualifies you to receive the coveted Urban Bourbon Trailblazer t-shirt. (Must be 21+ to participate. One prize per customer. Valid while supplies last)

Need more Mint Julep motivation? Visit the mural at Quills Coffee Firehouse (802 E. Main St.) or the larger than life Mint Julep at the Louisville Visitor Center (301 S. 4th St.) or the Taj (807 E. Market St.)

MINT JULEP MONTH EVENTS

To find minty-fresh happenings around town, click here.

The Louisville Bats – the AAA minor league baseball affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds – is rebranding as the Derby City Mint Juleps for two home games on April 13 and 27 at Louisville Slugger Field. The team will wear custom Mint Julep caps and jerseys. Mint Juleps served in commemorative cups will be sold at both games. Derby City Mint Juleps merchandise is also available for sale at DerbyCityMintJuleps.com.

The Louisville Visitor Center is hosting a free Mint Julep-themed event on Friday, April 12 from 6-8 p.m. Highlights include Mint Julep drink and food tastings from several restaurants and bars on Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail.®

SHOPPING & GIFTS

EAT & DRINK

  • ALEX&NDER – Several Mint Juleps to illustrate and illuminate the brandy, gin, absinthe and liqueur produced in the downstairs distillery,Copper & Kings, will be available, including: Let It Ride (Floodwall Apple Brandy); Born to Run (American Craft Brandy); Walk Don’t Run (Destillaré Orange Curaçao); Pony Ride (Destillaré Pomegranate); All The Pretty Little Horses (The History of Lovers Gin); Kentucky Waltz (The Ninth Orange); and Pale Rider (Absinthe Blanche). 
  • Bottle & Bond Kitchen and Bar – is taking a sweet spin on the Derby classic with its Mint Julep Milkshake. Enjoy creme de menthe with mint chocolate chip ice cream, a chocolate sandwich cookie, whipped cream and chocolate drizzle. 
  • The Bristol Bar & Grille – Three special Mint Juleps will be on the menu for Mint Julep Month, including the Garden Julep (muddled fresh herbs of rosemary, mint and basil with Buffalo Trace and Drambuie, served on the rocks); Royal Julep (Evan Williams Bottled in Bond and Benedictine with muddled fresh mint and simple syrup, served over crushed ice); and the Bristol Julep (Old Forester Bourbon with a touch of white crème de menthe, Benedictine and fresh aromatic herb infused simple syrup, served in a martini glass on the rocks).
  • Decca - The Absent Minded Derby (house made mint syrup, Herbsaint, fresh lime juice, soda water and Old Forester Signature Bourbon).
  • Derby Cafe Express - Mint Juleps are available everyday at the cafe, located at the Kentucky Derby Museum, where you can celebrate Derby every day.
  • Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse and Raw Bar - Mint Julep Lemonade, which adds a splash of tangy and refreshing lemon to the traditional simple syrup, Bourbon and mint recipe. Or, try a Near Eastern Julep, which uses basil instead of mint and ginger syrup, combined with Old Grand Dad Bottled-in-Bond and Becherovka liqueur to add a warm, spicy clove flavor
  • Garage Bar  –Market Street Julep, which features Michter's small-batch Bourbon, house made lemongrass, sucanat syrup, Prosecco, Angostura bitters. Garnished with mint and lemongrass stalk.
  • George’s Bar at Old Forester Distillery – If you don’t have time to take a Cocktail Class at George’s Bar, stop in for an Old Forester 86 julep or make one of their many julep creations you that you can find here: https://www.oldforester.com/recipes/#julep-love
  • HopCat Louisville – offers a Mint Julep on its “Cat Tails” menu featuring Copper & Kings Brandy, Framboise and fresh mint.
  • Merle's Whiskey Kitchen - Maker's Mint Julep features a classic take on the Mint Julep using homemade simple syrup, powdered sugar, fresh mint and Maker’s Mark Bourbon.
  • Pizza LUPO – Bourbon and Kola Julep featuring Old Forester Signature Bourbon and Amaro Meletti, along long with crushed ice, mint and a powdered sugar sprinkle on top.
  • Porch Kitchen & Bar at the Louisville Marriott Downtown – Mint Julep Sweet Tea.
  • Quills Coffee - Hunter S. Thompson said, "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved" and so is our drink. The Mint Brewlep, with the option to add the sweetness and complexity of Makers Mark. A refreshing iced coffee drink with cream, a vanilla mint syrup and an (optional) splash of Bourbon.
  • ​Ramsi’s Café on the World – A Horse of a Different Color – a cool minted chocolate julep featuring Maker’s Mark 46, chocolate mint, vanilla Demerara syrup, crushed ice and a brûléed orange slice to garnish.
  • The Brown Hotel – The historic spot honors the classic Kentucky cocktail featuring Jim Beam Bourbon, mint sprigs, simple syrup and crushed ice, and garnished with powdered sugar. Complete your Derby experience by having your Mint Julep with a traditional Hot Brown.
2020 Derby

Kentucky Derby

May 2, 2020
  • DAYS
    394
  • HRS
    01
  • MIN
    16
  • SEC
    34

#CocktailsForCleanups Since the 1800s, the mint julep has been one of America’s most iconic cocktails. The humble straw, invented specifically for use in that illustrious mint julep, is every bit as iconic. Unfortunately, the paper straws of the 1800s have evolved into the modern plastic straws that contribute heavily to plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways. In conjunction with Mint Julep Month, Garden & Gun and Maker's Mark challenge participants to use paper straws and ditch the plastic to make a lasting positive difference for our environment.

For nationwide Mint Julep Month action, visit here.