The Kentucky Derby is a sporting event immersed in tradition and spirit – so what better way to watch the Run for the Roses than with a mint julep in hand?
The mint julep has been the official drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1939, although its origins trace back to the first Derby Day in 1875. This iconic bourbon cocktail is still served to Kentucky Derby guests to this day, typically presented in silver or pewter cups that create a crisp, frosted effect.
Thousands of guests will be enjoying a mint julep at Churchill Downs on race day, but that doesn’t mean that the classic drink can’t be just as good wherever you are.
The Kentucky Derby is not far away, with the 149th Run for the Roses taking place on Saturday, May 6, airing on NBC and streaming on Peacock. See below to learn how to make the Derby’s most iconic drink, the mint julep.
RELATED: What to watch, what to know for the 2023 Kentucky Derby
How to make a mint julep
Learn how to make your own mint julep with Alton Brown of Food Network’s recipe.
- 10 mint leaves, extra sprig for garnish
- 1 ½ teaspoons superfine sugar
- Seltzer water
- Crushed ice
- 2 ½ ounces Kentucky bourbon whiskey
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At the bottom of an old-fashioned glass, place your 10 mint leaves with sugar on top. Gently muddle the two together, releasing the essential oils from the leaves.
Add a splash of seltzer water to the mixture and fill ¾ of your glass with crushed ice. Fill the rest of the glass with your Kentucky bourbon whiskey and stir well. Once the drink is prepared, garnish it with a sprig of mint to complete the look.
Tip: Before garnishing the drink, try gently slapping the sprig with your hand to release aromatic oils from the mint.
Now, sit back and sip on your mint julep as you watch 20 horses vie for the ultimate crown at the Kentucky Derby on NBC.
How to watch the 2023 Kentucky Derby:
- Date: Saturday, May 6
- Time: Coverage begins at 12pm ET
- Where: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky
- TV Network: NBC
- Streaming: Peacock, NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app
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Watch the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 6 on NBC, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock from 12 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET.