This year, the Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep charity program honors the connections between Kentucky and France. A total of 148 cups, honoring Derby 148, will be made available with the proceeds benefiting Old Friends Farm.
Handmade by Louisville-based jeweler From the Vault, the cups feature red rubies in the shape of a horseshoe. One side of the cup is engraved with a thoroughbred, representing Versailles, Kentucky, where Woodford Reserve Distillery is located and where many of the world’s best thoroughbreds are bred and raised. The other side includes a nod to Versailles, France. Of the 148 cups, 18 are gold and retailing for $2,500 and 130 Silver and retailing for $1,000.
Proceeds will benefit Old Friends Farm, where famous thoroughbreds, including past Derby winners, are sent to retire peacefully. The charity was started by Mike Blowen, a retired journalist from The Boston Globe.
This year’s $1,000 Mint Julep cocktail features ingredients found at France’s Palace of Versailles, once home to three of the country’s kings from the House of Bourbon: Kings Louis XIV to XVI. The cocktail brings together the flavors of orange, lemon, and pomegranate with Woodford Reserve Bourbon.
“The French connections to Kentucky are significant – from Versailles, the home of our distillery – to Louisville, KY, the city where the Derby is run and which was named after King Louis XVI,” said Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris. “Cheers – or as the French would say “Sante” – to Derby 148.”
The French Mint Julep
- 2 oz. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- 2 tsp. honey syrup (½ part Honey from Versailles, France and ½ part water)
- 1 lemon peel
- 1 orange peel
- 2 fresh pomegranate arils, plus more for garnish
- 1 bunch fresh lemon Mint sprigs, garnish
Directions: In the Julep cup, add honey syrup, 1 peel each of the lemon and orange, 2 pomegranate arils, and muddle. Then fill the cup ⅔ of the way with crushed ice. Add Woodford Reserve and top the cup off with more crushed ice. Garnish by tucking in a fresh bunch of lemon mint, lemon and orange peels on the side. Top with fresh pomegranate arils and serve.
Woodford Reserve is the Presenting Sponsor of the Kentucky Derby®. The cups are now available for sale via the official website. Cups must be picked up at Churchill Downs on Derby Day at the $1,000 Mint Julep Experience.