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13 Takes on the Mint Julep for Derby Day

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The Kentucky Derby is known for more than being a great horse race. It's also the day that the mint julep reigns!

Straight up, on the rocks, frozen or in edible form, the mint julep shines on Derby Day.

Here is what I know about the Kentucky Derby, in order of importance. Ready, set, go!

1) There are horses involved (awesome!).

2) Big crazy hats are pretty much required (okay, fine).

3) The drink of the day, as dictated by tradition, is the mint julep (yes, good!).

Here are stellar recipes – some drinks and some eats, some tried and true and some new – that will make your Derby Day fantastic:

 

1. Mint Julep Cupcakes

13 Takes on the Mint Julep for Derby Day

A classic Kentucky Derby cocktail in cupcake form! Don't worry. There's plenty of bourbon involved.

 

2. Mint Julep Jelly Shots

13 Takes on the Mint Julep for Derby Day

Sparkling water, clear whiskey, sugar, unflavored gelatin, and fresh mint leaves are all you need to make the cutest little jelly shots this side of the finish line. Get the right mold, and they even look like a winner's wreath!

 

3. Blackberry Mint Julep

13 Takes on the Mint Julep for Derby Day

Fresh herbs and fresh blackberries get your tongue tingling and are sure to please the palate.

 

4. Traditional Mint Julep 

13 Takes on the Mint Julep for Derby Daya

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the tried and true. This mint julep recipe has helped people celebrate Derby Day for ages – so just go with it if you're not one to mess with tradition!

 

5. Southern Style Sweet Tea

13 Takes on the Mint Julep for Derby Day

Of course you’re an awesome host and want to have a non-alcoholic option for your guests. Treat them to some delicious and thematically appropriate Southern-style sweet tea. Use mint leaves for garnish.

 

6. Mint Julep Margarita

13 Takes on the Mint Julep for Derby Day

All you need for a guaranteed good time is tequila, bourbon, mint and limes. The hardest part about this recipe is making the simple syrup, which – hence the name – is actually super simple!

 

7. Bourbon Slushie

13 Takes on the Mint Julep for Derby Day

Cool and refreshing, this drink has all the pedigree of Southern hospitality. Oh, and bourbon too.

 

8. Melon Mint Julep Slush

13 Takes on the Mint Julep for Derby Day

A sweet and melony twist on the classic beverage that will have your crowd on their feet and roaring!

  

9. Peach Julep

13 Takes on the Mint Julep for Derby Day

Real Southern flavor, compounded! This recipe calls for sweet peach nectar and adds a succulent dimension to this Derby-themed libation.  

 

10. Grapefruit Julep

13 Takes on the Mint Julep for Derby Day

Bright and citrusy, with grapefruit juices that really add some zing to a traditional mint julep recipe. 

 

11. Frozen Blackberry Julep

13 Takes on the Mint Julep for Derby Day

Yummy and thirst quenching, this frozen blackberry julep only requires you to blend, blend away.

  

12. Mojito

13 Takes on the Mint Julep for Derby Day

If you want an option for the bourbon averse, make this minty mojito!

 

13. Mint Julep Chicken Crostini

13 Takes on the Mint Julep for Derby Day

Chicken chunks are marinated in a honied bourbon sauce, then braised and placed on top of crostini with mint and cucumber. The perfect appetizer for watching the race!

Looking for some non-boozy cocktail ideas? Serve up some of these amazingly delicious 20 Non-Alcoholic Party Drinks!

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