8 Kentucky Derby Cocktails That Pair Perfectly With the Big Race

Ditch the mint julep for one of these.

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Morgan McMullen

Derby Day is just around the corner, which means you probably have cocktails on the brain. Whether you're hosting a Derby party or watching the big race from a friend's apartment, race day is the perfect excuse for a custom Kentucky Derby cocktail. Ahead, I've put together a list of recipes for you to make the Derby cocktail of your dreams at home—so, before you gear up for tequila on Cinco de Mayo, try one of these refreshing spring drinks.

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1 May Flowers
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Absolut

Ingredients:

1.5 Parts Absolut Original

.25 Parts Maraschino Liquor

.75 East India Sherry

1-2 Drops Almond Extract

.75 Parts Lemon

Directions:

  1. Dry shake and strain over crushed ice in a short rocks glass.
  2. Garnish with a bouquet of edible flowers.

Courtesy of Absolut.

2 Stella Artois Cidre Cimosa
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Stella Artois

Ingredients:

Stella Artois Cidre

Orange juice

Directions:

  1. Pre-chill a wine glass with ice cubes and discard the ice before pouring in the cocktail.
  2. Pour the Stella Artois Cidre over the orange juice and serve (can be pre-mixed in a jug).

Courtesy of Stella Artois.

3 Skinny Mint Julep
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David Danielsen

Ingredients:

2 oz. Woodford reserve bourbon
1 oz. Skinny mint syrup (combine 1 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup stevia and bring to boil, leave for one hour, add 1 cup mint leaves)
1 mint sprig
Crushed ice

Directions:

  1. Fill a julep glass with crushed ice, add skinny mint syrup.
  2. Top with Woodford reserve bourbon.
  3. Garnish with fresh mint sprig.

Courtesy of David Danielson.

4 Spring Chick
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Absolut

Ingredients:

1.5 Parts Absolut Citron

.75 Parts Lillet

.25 Parts Suze

2 1 Ginger slices

.75 Parts Lemon

2 Parts Hopped Soda

Angostura

Directions:

  1. Muddle ginger slices in a mixing glass.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients with an ice cube and shake to incorporate.
  3. Strain over crushed ice in a pilsner glass and top with Hopped Soda.
  4. Garnish with a sidecar of pilsner beer.

Courtesy of Absolut.

5 Gin Julep
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Monkey 47

Ingredients:

1.7oz Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin

.3oz simple syrup

15 mint leaves

Directions:

  1. Muddle all ingredients, shake it with ice cubes and double-strain into a silver mug filled with crushed ice.
  2. Garnish it with a mint leave.

Courtesy of Monkey 47.

6 Kentucky Mule
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David Danielson

Ingredients:

1.5 oz bourbon

3 oz Ginger beer

Squeeze of 1 lime wedge

Lime wedge, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Combine the bourbon, ginger beer, and a squeeze of lime in a rocks glass filled with ice.
  2. Stir the mixture, garnish with a lime wedge, and serve.

      Courtesy of David Danielson, executive chef of Churchill Downs.

      7 Pillow Talk
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      Don Papa

      Ingredients:

      1 oz Don Papa Rum

      1.5 oz fresh grapefruit juice

      .25 oz St-Germain

      1 dash rose water

      Directions:

      1. Combine ingredients with ice and shake vigorously.
      2. Strain into a tall glass filled with rose petals and ice, then fill with tonic water.

      Courtesy of NYC bartender Ben Rojo.

      8 Bourbon Peach Cooler
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      David Danielson

      Ingredients:

      1.5 oz bourbon

      .25 oz peach schnapps

      2 oz peach nectar

      1 oz unsweetened iced tea

      1 dash peach bitters (optional)

      Peach slice, for garnish

      Directions:

      1. In a shaker filled with ice, combine the bourbon, schnapps, peach nectar, iced tea, and bitters.
      2. Shake the mixture vigorously and strain it into a tall glass with ice.
      3. Garnish with peach slice and serve.

                        Courtesy of David Danielson, executive chef of Churchill Downs.

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