Keep It Classy This Derby Day with Juleps Three Ways
Photo by Brayden Olson


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Keep It Classy This Derby Day with Juleps Three Ways

You need to kick off the official opening of day-drinking season in style.

It's almost Derby Day again, which, for most of us, means putting on our most flamboyant suit or ridiculously oversized hat, and pretending to care about horse racing, but really just picking the horse with the best name (which happens to be Irish War Cry this year. Or maybe McCracken).

More importantly, it's the official opening of day-drinking season, that glorious afternoon where we spend so many hours getting blasted that we wind up missing the 2-minute race altogether. If you want to act like a real Kentuckian, you should probably just stick to straight bourbon (at least according to one Louisville bartender).


But straight bourbon just doesn't match that pastel getup you spent so long putting together the same way as a julep in a tin cup piled high with crushed ice and mint leaves.

The classic mint julep might be the easiest classic cocktail to make, and it's a guaranteed winner. Just muddle some simple syrup with fresh mint, add bourbon, and fill with crushed ice. It's aesthetically pleasing, delicious, and will get you drunk enough to forget about the money you lost on McCracken.

RECIPE: Classic Mint Julep

Photo by Brayden Olson

If you want to shake things up a bit, you can't go wrong with the mint julep lemonade.
It's damn tasty, refreshing, and—unlike its predecessor—it's diluted with lemon juice. Drinking a cocktail that isn't straight liquor might just mean you make it to the very specific 6:46 post time without passing out.

RECIPE: Mint Julep Lemonade

If you want to get really crazy—which is absolutely how you should be celebrating the beginning of day-drinking season—this Japanese julep is the way to go. With Japanese single malt, plum soju, shiso leaves, and bitters, this drink is a little more of an upscale sipper. But look how fancy your outfit is. Upscale is exactly what you deserve.

RECIPE: Japanese Julep

3-2-1 go! Or however they start horse races.