Behold the $1000 2017 Kentucky Derby Mint Julep

Another Derby, another year of mint julep cocktails. But none are quite as over-the-top as one that will be served in a $1,000 Mint Julep Cup that will be available for purchase at this years’ Kentucky Derby on May 6 and benefits the Kentucky Derby Museum.

This years’ quintessential julep cocktail has been crafted by Tom Vernon, Woodford Reserve Global Ambassador, while the cups were handcrafted by Louisville-based jeweler From the Vault.

The $1,000 cups feature 18 karats yellow gold over the sterling silver horse and riders, the crown, rose and horseshoe; and accompanied by a gold-plated sipping straw.  The crown represents the rich history of the British-inspired Derby; the rose is an ode to the “Run for the Roses” and the horseshoe brings each cup buyer an extra stroke of luck at the horse race.

$1000 Woodford Reserve 2017 Kentucky Derby Mint Julep

Also for purchase is the $2,500 Royal cup, which is gold-plated sterling silver with a 24 karat gold plating to contrast the high polished sterling silver detail. Both cups are embellished with three horses in stride, inspired by British photographer Eadweard Muybridge’s famous The Horse in Motion filmstrip which was the first proof that all four hooves leave the ground at a gallop.

Vernon’s British-inspired, but Southern, the cocktail has a unique garnish of mint, baby’s breath and edible, dehydrated blue cornflowers to represent both sides of the Atlantic.

2017 Kentucky Derby Mint Julep recipe

  • 1.5 oz Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • 0.75 oz Pimm’s Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Elderflower Cordial
  • 0.75 oz Woodford Reserve®Mint Julep Simple Syrup
  • 1 dash Earl Grey bitters
  • Handful of mint

Rub mint around the julep cup, expressing the essential oils. Add remaining ingredients and top with crushed ice. Churn ingredients with a bar spoon distributing the flavor. Top with additional crushed ice. Garnish with a bundle of baby’s breath and mint. Sprinkle with dehydrated edible blue cornflowers.

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