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