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Celebrating A Derby Season Unlike Any Other

blog | 08/14/2020

1 Cocktail

Each year we team up with the Kentucky Derby Festival by participating in a number of events leading up to the annual Run for the Roses, including the Rose Julep Cocktail Competition at Festival Unveiled, The Great Steamboat Race, Thunder Over Louisville, BourbonVille, Fest-a-Ville and more.

We always enjoy the opportunity to mingle with many of you and although this year’s festivities are quite different, we’re grateful that we can still raise a glass together in a number of ways this Kentucky Derby season.

The Derby experience wouldn’t be complete without a mint julep, so we’ve compiled a list of award-winning julep recipes featuring Four Roses Small Batch for you to create at home—all worthy of a photo finish.

These Rose Julep recipes come from six regional bartenders who competed for top honors at the 17th annual Rose Julep Cocktail Competition as part of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s “Festival Unveiled” event in Louisville, Kentucky on March 5. 

The Side Eye
By Giacomo Ciminello
Night Drop, Cincinnati, OH
2020 Rose Julep Cocktail Competition Judges’ Choice

The Perfect Pear
By Jason Stark
Martini Italian Bistro, Louisville, KY
2020 Rose Julep Cocktail Competition People’s Choice

Far From ’38  
By Travis Shireman 
Taj, Louisville, KY 

Wake Up and Smell the Roses
By Bill Whitlow
Rich’s Proper, Covington, KY

Blue Passion Mint Julep
By Oliver Winn
ELIXIR, Lexington, KY 

Grandpa’s Pocket Square
By Katie Sherman
Goodfella’s/Wise Guy Lounge, Lexington, KY

Be sure to share your at-home creations on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag Four Roses so we can take a look.

Beyond refreshing Rose Juleps, we’re partnering with the Kentucky Derby Festival for The Great Steamboat Race for the 15th year. While we won’t be sipping Four Roses on board as the historic Belle of Louisville and Belle of Cincinnati race down the Ohio River this year, we’ll still be honoring the event here on land.

Four Roses Master Distiller Brent Elliott met up with Kentucky Derby Festival’s Matt Gibson, Belle of Louisville Captain Mark Doty and others for a virtual private barrel selection to choose The Four Roses Great Steamboat Race Commemorative Single Barrel Bourbon.

Check it out below.



The special bottling will be available for purchase at select Louisville-area Kroger Wine & Spirits locations this Derby season, while supplies last. If you aren’t able to find one, we encourage you to celebrate in the spirit of the Kentucky Derby with one of our other award-winning expressions.

And with that, we raise our glass, tip our hats and wish you many mellow moments this Derby season.

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