$1,000 mint juleps are on the market at this yr’s Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is a near-religious second for bourbon drinkers — nevertheless they’ll desire a black card to begin out a tab with the extreme rollers this 12 months.

That’s because of the $1,000 mint julep is once more.

For 10 Cs, you’ll get a beverage of whiskey, honey and muddled mint impressed by the Palace of Versailles (they’d “the Residence of Bourbon,” finally) created by Woodford Reserve’s affable grasp distiller Chris Morris. The Woodford distillery lies merely outdoor the town of Versailles, Kentucky.

Solely 148 of these cocktails will in all probability be served on the Might 7 race at Churchill Downs and 130 of them will in all probability be poured into silver julep cups that features pink rubies throughout the type of a horseshoe and engraved with a thoroughbred. For people with rather more money to burn, 18 cups will in all probability be comprised of gold and value $2,500. Every are made by Louisville-based jeweler From the Vault.

All that cash, in any case, goes to an excellent set off: These costly cocktails revenue Previous Associates Farm, the place thoroughbreds, along with earlier Derby winners, are despatched to retire in peace.

Nonetheless for those who occur to can’t make the Run for the Roses at this 12 months’s race — or don’t have a month’s pay to drop on booze and betting — the next smartest factor it to hit the Kentucky Bourbon Path.

Woodford Reserve has been offering special-edition bottles of bourbon for over twenty years.
Woodford Reserve
Exterior sot of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
Churchill Downs sells four-figure primo bourbon in silver and gold cups on the race for an excellent set off.
Getty Pictures

Now with 18 stops, the trail has develop into a further organized and user-friendly experience over the last 23 years, since its launch in 1999. The bourbon path now offers custom-made itineraries and tickets from its buyer coronary heart on Important Avenue in downtown Louisville in a developing shared by the Frazier Historic previous Museum, which is dedicated to the story of Kentucky bourbon.

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Nonetheless for the ersatz derby experience, you’ll have to cope with the distilleries of Brown-Forman producers Woodford Reserve and Earlier Forester.

Woodford Reserve has been a sponsor of the derby since 2018, nevertheless has been releasing a specific model derby bottle since 1999. Within the meantime, sister mannequin Earlier Forester is the official bourbon in the entire juleps that don’t worth a grand on the race and has been since 2015.

Start in Louisville, the place Important Avenue’s Whiskey Row has launched fairly a couple of world-famous distilleries to the center of metropolis. Earlier Forester has anchored the world from its dwelling on 119 West Important St. given that Eighteen Eighties.

Constructed spherical a big 44-foot-tall, 4,700-pound copper column nonetheless, friends get to odor the banana aroma of the fermentation vats, watch the runs flow into from the nonetheless, peep the bottling manufacturing facility, examine some lore and naturally try the hooch.

Exterior shot of Woodford Reserve.
Woodford was based mostly in 1996 on the grounds of some of Kentucky’s most storied distilleries of yore.
Woodford Reserve
Exterior shot of Woodford's barreled bourbon.
The grounds of the reserve are terrible with barrels of the good issues.
Woodford Reserve

By the tip of your journey you’ll actually really feel as match as a filly.

Subsequent, journey just a bit over an hour east, merely outdoor Lexington, and gaze upon Woodford Reserve’s outdated grey stone warehouses and distillery.

It’s the stuff of a drinker’s objectives. Based mostly in 1996, on the situation of the the Earlier Oscar Pepper Distillery and later the Labrot & Graham Distillery, Woodford was one in all many first whiskey makers to ask fanatics onto its grounds and data them by the fermentations, distillation and barreling processes.

Interior of Woodford Reserve's distillery.
Observe the entire fantastically copper tech that goes into the fermentation and distilling processes.
Woodford Reserve
A warehouse filled with bourbon at Woodford Reserve.
Massive warehouses lovingly retailer the famed distillery’s spirits.
Dan Dry/Vitality Creative

The mannequin has moreover meticulously preserved the situation’s historic previous, whereas ruthlessly experimenting with its private mash ratios, elements and barreling program: Indian maze? Blue corn? Heaps of rye? Why not!  

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In New York, gathering and even tasting specialty bourbons is the world of non-public equity bros and their ilk. Nonetheless in Louisville, on the derby or throughout the countryside at a flagship distillery, enthusiasm goes a good way with the locals.

Chat up the suitable man and likewise you’ll be sipping one factor one-of-a-kind fast. That’s Southern hospitality.