You Can Buy a $1,000 Mint Julep at the Kentucky Derby

May 3, 2019

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For 14 years, the $1,000 mint julep has been a Kentucky Derby tradition. Now, this price tag might seem like a head-scratcher, since the drink's ingredients aren't necessarily complicated. (See full recipe below.) What makes this drink stand out is the cup: CNBC Make It reports that this year, the deluxe juleps are poured into a cup "handcrafted by a Louisville-based jeweler and feature elaborate designs of Kentucky scenes like the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs." For good measure, the cup, which can be bought in advance, is housed in a silk-lined wooden box. “You get the most beautiful julep cup you’ve ever seen in your life,” says Woodford Reserve master distiller Chris Morris. “Each year, the cup has been unique. We’ve had silver cups, gold-plated cups, both at the same time, as we do this year. We’ve had cups that have had diamonds in them and emeralds and rubies.”

$1,000 Mint Julep Recipe:

  • 2 oz. Woodford Reserve Kentucky straight bourbon
  • 2 bar spoons of honey sweetener
  • 2 leaves of Kentucky colonel mint
  • Garnish: shaved honeycomb and a sprig of mint