The stables are full and the crowds are gathering at Churchill Downs for the famous Kentucky Derby (this Saturday, May 2). Whether people are celebrating in the owners' box or watching the race on TV, it’s essential to take a sip of the iconic mint julep.
Woodford Reserve, known as the “Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby,” unveiled an exclusive $1,000 Mint Julep Cup to honor the race while benefiting the Wounded Warrior Equestrian Program. Fashion designer Billy Reid and mixologist Pamela Wiznitzer designed the 2015 edition cup, which is handcrafted and pays homage to the past and future of the famous horse race.
“I was inspired by a book I found many years ago while researching the Kentucky Derby,” Reid said. “The Derby is an event steeped in heritage and tradition.” A limited edition fabric designed by Reid accompanies the cup.
The design is impeccable, but the drink is just as spectacular. Wiznitzer crafted this year’s mint julep recipe, and has added her own twist. Mixed with Woodford Reserve Double Oak, this year's cocktail adds coconut palm sugar syrup, chocolate mint springs, orange and lemon slices, and powdered sugar.
The Wounded Warrior Equestrian Program raises awareness of the healing powers of horses through therapeutic programs and horse rescues. “It was an honor to have even been invited to participate in this year’s charity voting program and we are grateful to be able to continue helping veterans and rescued horses alike,” Bridget Kroger, founder of the organization, said.
“For us, this program represents a huge part of who we are as a brand,” said Chris Morris, Woodford Reserve master distiller. “We’re proud that this program has given more than $410,000 in charitable donations to equine- and humanitarian-related causes, and are excited to see what the next 10 years hold.”
People can purchase the limited edition cups online and show their support during the year’s most anticipated race. From Churchill Downs to New York and California, the best bet is $1,000 on Woodford Reserve.