People will pay $1,000 for a (very special) mint julep at this year’s Kentucky Derby

Last year's Cup [image: Woodford Reserve]
Last year’s Cup [image: Woodford Reserve]

The Kentucky Derby will be serving up quite a few delicious mint juleps next weekend — after-all what pairs better with horse racing than bourbon?

However, this year Woodford Reserve is seriously upping its julep game. On race day the Kentucky distillery will be serving up a pecan pie-inspired juleps, and you’ll only be able to taste it if you’ve bought a limited edition $1,000 Crafter’s Cup (or if you’ve read the recipe below.)

The individually numbered cups feature a classic plaid pattern, along with the 2016 Kentucky Derby date, the Woodford Reserve logo and a gold-plated sipping straw.

This year's Cups [image: Woodford Reserve]
This year’s Cups [image: Woodford Reserve]

Only 90 Crafter’s Cups are available to purchase. Also available are 15 gold-plated, diamond accented Master’s Cups with silver sipping straws for $2,500.

On Derby day the swanky cups can be collected and filled – several times, we hope – with the tasty tipple.

The $1,000 cup program – now in its 11th year – has raised more than $425,000 for equine and humanitarian-related causes. This year proceeds from sales of the cups go to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

But just in case you can’t make it to this year’s derby, here is the recipe to try at home.


• 2 oz. Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select Bourbon
• .75 oz. Toasted Pecan Orgeat Syrup *
• Fresh Mint
• Caramelized Pecan Crumbles for Garnish
• Edible Copper Flakes

Slap the mint. Rub fresh mint around the julep cup. Combine ingredients with crushed ice and swizzle in the glass. Add more crushed ice. Garnish with mint bunch, pecan and edible copper flakes.

* To make toasted pecan orgeat, toast pecans, mix or muddle into small pieces and simmer on low heat to create a nut milk. Fine strain or use a nut milk bag to remove nut pieces, and add equal parts sugar to liquid.