We love the standard Mint Julep, but there are plenty of other drinks fit for Kentucky Derby royalty, from stiff whiskey cocktails to fruity julep variations. Here are 11 of our favorites that you can easily make at home.
Mandarin Mint Julep
By: Beautiful Booze
This is a juicy, citrus twist on the classic mint julep. It’s also very simple to make and has a delicious pop of color. Enjoy it with a side of fresh fruit!
Elderflower Old Fashioned
By: Render Food Mag
While great bourbon is produced everywhere, the delicious spirit has strong ties to the south. An Old Fashioned is a classic bourbon treat, but this elderflower variation adds a lovely touch of springtime sweetness.
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Sweet Tea Cocktail
By: Leite’s Culinaria
Sweet tea is another famed way to quench your thirst in the south, so why not add an adult twist on this sweet sipper? This easy recipe spikes orange pekoe tea with whiskey. Cheers to that!
Boozy Watermelon Mint Lemonade
By: Host The Toast
Break out your parasols and reach for a cool refreshment with this punchy pink lemonade. Forget food coloring – watermelon naturally puts color in the drink, while a splash of white rum gives it a smooth kick.
The Brown Derby
By: Cold Glass
The Brown Derby cocktail was named after a famed Los Angeles diner that was shaped like a derby hat! Besides the fun backstory, the Brown Derby balances out the hefty taste of whiskey with the sharp tang of grapefruit and the mouth-coating sweetness of honey.
Turmeric Rose Petal Julep
By: Sprigg And Spirit
Turmeric, related to ginger, gives an earthy flair to this julep. The rose adds sugar and perfume, while the basil makes an excellent alternative to the typical mint garnish.
By: Garden & Gun
The Redless Snapper is one southern bar’s take on the classic Bloody Mary. Instead of vodka, gin is used, adding more delightful aromatics.
Sweet Corn Cocktail
By: Serious Eats
Some beautiful corn grows down south, so it seemed only fitting we feature a corn cocktail on this list. This pastel colored, summery recipe makes for a unique cocktail to show off at your derby party.
By: The Straight Up
Although this julep is a bit more involved than the other two, the end results are worth it. A melange of fruit flavors like peach and blackberry make this drink a perfect dessert after you consume the other two juleps you’re clearly going to make.
By: Saveur Magazine
Similar to the Manhattan, the Horsecar is another elegant, whiskey forward cocktail that combines southern charm with metropolitan glamor. Keep good maraschino cherries on deck.
Back Porch/Gourd Bird
By: Simple Cocktails
These two cocktails both involve fruit flavored varieties of Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine, “moonshine” that comes in mason jars – it doesn’t get much more southern than that! You’ll feel like you’re drinking liquor you distilled yourself (in the garage, while escaping the authorities).