Thirsty Thursdays: Kentucky Derby Edition

5 May

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to attend a horse race, bet a lot of money, dress up, and just straight up ball out. But unfortunately, the Kentucky Derby is invite only, Belmont Stakes is up in New York and the Preakness is well…this.

So until I get that glorious invite, I’ll just have to pretend I’m there with these Kentucky Derby themed drinks. And we’re off!

Mint Julep

2 oz whiskey
1 tablespoon simple syrup (can also be store bought)
Mint sprigs
Crushed ice

Simple Syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 bunch fresh mint sprigs

Simple Syrup Directions

  1. Combine sugar and water
  2. Boil for 5 mins without stirring
  3. Pour over a handful of mint leaves
  4. Gently crush the mint with a spoon
  5. Refrigerate overnight in closed jar
  6. Remove mint leaves when ready for use, but continue to refrigerate


  1. Crush a few mint leaves in a glass, then fill with crushed ice
  2. Add one tablespoon of simple syrup and one table spoon of water
  3. Add 2 ounces of whiskey
  4. Stir gently until glass frosts
  5. Garnish with fresh mint sprig

Notes on a Napkin

This is probably the most complex drink we’ve done so far, but if done correctly, it is delicious. Being the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, this minty refreshing drink is perfect for the early Summer heat. Make sure to keep the Simply Syrup refrigerated. It can stay fresh for several weeks.

Keep reading for more drinks!

Strawberry Julep

2 large strawberries, washed and hulled
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup quality bourbon


  1. Crush strawberry in a small glass (about 10 – 12 oz in size)
  2. Add sugar
  3. Add small amount of bourbon
  4. Stir until sugar is dissolved
  5. Fill rest of glass with ice
  6. Add rest of bourbon
  7. Stir until fully blended and until glass frosts
  8. Use rest of strawberries for garnish

Notes on a Napkin

If you want a lighter julep drink, then this is it. The strawberry flavor is sometimes much more appealing to non-regular mint julep drinkers. The important part about making juleps is not touching the glass so you can see when the glass frosts. Drinking these drinks while they’re very cold is essential if you want to enjoy it properly.

Belmont Over Ice

4 tablespoons vodka
3 tablespoons club soda
1 tablespoon peach schnapps
1 tablespoon orange juice
Orange slices (optional)


  1. Add ice to glass
  2. Combine ingredients
  3. Mix thoroughly
  4. Add orange slice into drink (optional)

Notes on a Napkin

The orange slice, although optional, adds that extra something to the drink. Belmont Over Ice is a fruit flavored, refreshing drink that’s perfect to drink on a hot day.

Classic American

2 oz peach vodka
2 oz club soda
Splash of orange juice
Splash of lemonade


  1. Fill cup with ice
  2. Add vodka
  3. Add club soda
  4. Add orange juice and lemonade to taste

Notes on a Napkin

This is an absurdly easy drink to make but it is still so refreshing. If you wanted to make this a ‘Virgin’ Classic American, just replace peach vodka with peach juice.



One Response to “Thirsty Thursdays: Kentucky Derby Edition”

  1. Ghudson April 29, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    or you can just buy simple syrup too.

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