7 Kentucky Bourbon Cocktails

Going beyond the mint julep


The horses are approaching their gates and the Kentucky Derby is almost underway. While the most popular cocktail to enjoy while watching is of course the mint julep, there are so many other great bourbon cocktails worth stirring up for a change to tradition.

These seven cocktails, all made with Kentucky bourbon, are great any time of the year, but are simply perfect when watching the Derby. 

Read on for the cocktails and be sure to let us know what you'll be drinking as the horses hit their stride in the comments below.

These cocktails originally appeared in an article by Maryse Chevriere, Editor at The Daily Meal.
Credit: Flickr/Markyboy81

Kentucky B&B
Using only two ingredients — the second "B" in the name stands for Bénédictine, a French herbal liqueur — this dry, made-for-sipping cocktail is as straightforward as they come.

Kentucky Cocktail
This equally easy-to-make drink puts the bourbon center stage — mixing it simply with pineapple juice. Served straight up in a martini glass, some opt to garnish with a Maraschino cherry.

Kentucky Mule
Between the ginger beer and splash of lime juice, this cocktail is a little like a bourbon-based riff on the Dark 'n' Stormy.

Derby Cocktail
This appropriately named drink, featured in author Ted Haigh's Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, combines bourbon with sweet vermouth, orange curaçao, and fresh lime juice.

Kentucky Sidecar
This Derby Day alternative to the julep is actually a play on another classic cocktail: the Sidecar. Calling for fresh lemon and tangerine juice, it spotlights the well-matched pairing of tangy citrus and smoky bourbon.

Louisville Cooler
To honor the city that is home to the big race, whip up this refreshing cocktail — a citrusy-sweet mix of orange juice, lime juice, powdered sugar, and (of course) bourbon.
Midnight Cowboy
For more something a little more rich and creamy, try this concoction made with bourbon, rum, and heavy cream. (Probably best enjoyed post-race.)

What you will be drinking this Derby Day? Share your plans with us below!

Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: hdbowden
    396001 39

    The links in the article for the Kentucky Cocktail and for the
    Midnight Cowboy are not correct. Can you supply the correct links?

    May 06, 2011 at 6:54 PM

  • Snooth User: Hana Choi
    Hand of Snooth
    803609 935

    @hdbowden - The links are working now, thanks for letting us know. Hope you get to try some of these out!

    May 09, 2011 at 10:42 AM

  • Since Derby Day coincides with Cinco De Mayo we need a Tequila Julep recipe.

    Apr 26, 2012 at 12:33 PM

  • Snooth User: LostKat14
    392728 9

    The Kentucky Sidecar link still doesn't work.

    Apr 26, 2012 at 1:11 PM

  • Snooth User: Kate Statton
    Hand of Snooth
    853836 1,080

    Hi Lost - The Sidecar takes a moment to load but should show up in a few seconds. Let me know if you are still having issues with it. Thanks!

    Apr 26, 2012 at 1:51 PM

  • Snooth User: LostKat14
    392728 9

    Thanks Kate- it worked when I tried in Firefox but not in Chrome.

    Apr 26, 2012 at 2:02 PM

  • Linking to a recipe for Stozzapreti with Speck.

    Apr 26, 2012 at 6:34 PM

  • Snooth User: ashwin994
    2226294 19

    It's really nice and Much important information. i am using windows 10 operating system and this online tutorial https://windowsclassroom.com/how-to... helps me a lot to know about their different features and functions.

    Oct 23, 2018 at 4:27 AM

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