3 Kentucky Derby-themed Cocktails to Sip for the Big Race

We're just hours away from the "greatest two minutes in sports" but there's still plenty of time to enjoy these cocktails before the biggest horse race of the year.

Photo: Carolina Korman Photography/G.H. Mumm

We’re just hours away from the “greatest two minutes in sports” but there’s still plenty of time to enjoy these cocktails before the biggest horse race of the year.

Thousands will descend upon Louisville’s legendary Churchill Downs on Saturday to watch the 143rd Annual Kentucky Derby where total of 20 horses will hit the track with the hopes of crossing the finish line first. At the top of the list favored to win are Always Dreaming and Classic Empire, but any one of the thoroughbreds could wind up taking the crown.

Official post time is 6:34 p.m. but in meantime, we’ve got your cocktails covered. This year’s official champagne sponsor is G.H. Mumm so here’s three drinks that pair perfectly with race day parties.

MUMM Trifecta
This unique cocktail has been created specifically for G.H. Mumm champagne, by renowned Cocktail Chef, Matthew Biancaniello, the author of Eat Your Drink.

4 oz. Champagne
¼ oz. Sage Infused Honey Syrup
5 mint leaves, plus more for garnish
3-4 lavender buds, plus more for garnish
5 dashes Angostura bitters
Crushed Ice

1. Add the mint, lavender, champagne and honey syrup into a shaker and muddle. Strain into the glassware of your choice.
2. Top with a mountain of crushed ice and add the angostura bitters on top of the ice
3. Garnish with mint leaves and lavender sprig
4. To make the sage infused honey syrup: Add three cups of honey to one cup of hot water and stir until the honey dissolves. Add 6 ripped sage leaves into the honey and stir and let it sit for 2 hours

Carolina Korman Photography/G.H. Mumm

Bourbon Earl Gray Iced Tea
3 cups water
½ cup agave
1 cup bourbon
3 Earl Gray tea bags
1 teaspoon bitters
2 sprigs of thyme
Lemon slice for garnish

1. To make the tea: Combine the water, thyme and agave in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring periodically Pour the mixture into a jar, add the tea bags, and let steep for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how strong you want your tea (If you like your tea very strong, leave the bags in the tea for longer)
2. Remove the tea bags and pour in the bourbon. Cover the jar and chill
3. Sugar the edge of your favorite rocks glass over ice and a lemon slice and add your sprig of thyme

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Mint Julep
4-5 mint leaves
2 sugar cubes (can substitute with .5 oz simple syrup)
2.5 oz bourbon whiskey
Mint sprig for garnish

1. Place the mint and sugar into a julep cup (or old-fashioned glass) and muddle.
2. Add bourbon.
3. Fill with crushed ice and stir.
4. Garnish with mint.

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