Bourbon brand Woodford Reserve has unveiled its special Mint Julep for the 2016 Kentucky Derby. This year’s recipe, developed by Woodford Master Distiller Chris Morris and New York mixologist Julie Renee Williams, celebrates the traditional southern dessert of pecan pie. It’s made with Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select, toasted pecan orgeat syrup, fresh mint and garnished with caramelized pecan crumbles (full recipe below).
Another aspect of Woodford’s Kentucky Derby experience is its signature $1,000 Mint Julep Cups. The Crafter’s Cups, designed this year by Houston-based men’s shirt designer Hamilton Shirts and handcrafted at Louisville-based jeweler From the Vault, feature Hamilton’s classic plaid pattern, along with the 2016 Kentucky Derby date and Woodford Reserve logo; they come with a gold-plated sipping straw. In addition to the 90 silver Crafter’s Cups, there are 15 gold-plated Master’s Cups accented with diamonds available for $2,500.
The Woodford Julep cups are available for purchase online for until May 6; any unsold cups will be available for purchase at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day. Proceeds from the cup sales benefit this year benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, which works to provide financial assistance to former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries.
Woodford Reserve, the “Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby,” has been doing the $1,000 Mint Julep Cup program for 11 years. The Versailles, KY-based company has donated more than $425,000 to equine and humanitarian-related causes through the program. Woodford also recently released its 2016 Kentucky Derby commemorative bottle, featuring a design from equine artist Thomas Allen Pauly.
Woodford Reserve 2016 Kentucky Derby Mint Julep
2 oz. Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select bourbon
¾ oz. Toasted pecan orgeat syrup*
Caramelized pecan crumbles for garnish
Edible copper flakes
Rub fresh mint around julep cup. Combine ingredients with crushed ice and swizzle in glass. Add more crushed ice, garnish with mint bunch, caramelized pecan crumbles and edible copper flakes.
*For toasted pecan orgeat: Toast pecans, mix or muddle into small pieces and simmer on low heat to create a nut milk. Fine strain or use a nut milk bag to remove nut pieces, and add equal parts sugar to liquid.