What drinks are served at the Derby?

Answered by Paul Bowser

As an expert sommelier and brewer, I have had the pleasure of attending the Derby on multiple occasions and experiencing the drinks served firsthand. The Kentucky Derby, often referred to as the “most exciting two minutes in sports,” is not only a celebration of horse racing but also a showcase of the finest beverages that Kentucky has to offer.

One of the most iconic drinks associated with the Kentucky Derby is, of course, the . This refreshing cocktail is made with , sugar, , and fresh mint leaves. It is traditionally served in a silver or pewter cup filled with crushed ice, allowing the flavors to meld together as the ice slowly melts. The Mint Julep has been the official drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1938 and is a staple at the race, enjoyed by both spectators and participants alike.

In addition to the Mint Julep, the Derby offers a wide range of other beverages to suit all preferences. Bourbon, being the spirit of choice in Kentucky, is prominently featured in many of the cocktails served at the event. From classic Old Fashioneds to innovative bourbon-based concoctions, there is no shortage of options for bourbon enthusiasts.

For those who prefer something lighter, there are also a variety of options available. White wines such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are popular choices, as they pair well with the warm weather and the array of delicious Southern cuisine served at the Derby. wines have also gained popularity in recent years, offering a refreshing and vibrant option for racegoers.

lovers need not worry, as there are plenty of options available as well. While bourbon may be the of choice in Kentucky, the Derby recognizes the widespread appeal of beer and ensures that there is a diverse selection to cater to all tastes. From crisp lagers to hoppy IPAs, beer enthusiasts can find their favorite brews at various stands and bars throughout the racecourse.

options are also available for those who prefer to abstain or for designated drivers. Soft drinks, including the famous -8-One, are readily available and provide a refreshing break from the summer heat. Lemonade and iced are also popular choices, offering a sweet and tangy alternative to alcoholic beverages.

The Kentucky Derby offers a wide range of beverages to cater to the diverse tastes of its attendees. From the classic Mint Julep to a variety of bourbon cocktails, wines, beers, and non-alcoholic options, there is something for everyone to enjoy while experiencing the thrill of the races. So whether you're a bourbon aficionado, a wine connoisseur, a beer enthusiast, or simply looking for a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage, the Derby has you covered.