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This Is What Goes Into a $1,000 Mint Julep

Picture of Elizabeth Nicholas
Updated: 10 May 2018
Mint juleps might generally be considered on the fancier end of the cocktail spectrum, as they are typically associated with horse racing events and ladies lunches.
Making Mint Juleps
Making Mint Juleps | © Jeremy T. Hetzel / Flickr

But a new $1,000 mint julep is taking that a bit to the extreme.

The uber-pricey beverage will be available at the Kentucky Derby and will be made with the top-shelf Woodford Reserve. The drink will come served in one of 100 special metal cups, and all the profits will go to charity. If that’s not special enough for you, there will also be a $2,500 version of the drink, complete with a silver straw and gold-plated cup.

Just what goes into one of these super-upscale libations? Two ounces of Woodford Reserve bourbon, one ounce of water, one teaspoon of sugar, and four springs of fresh mint.

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Mint juleps are traditionally served in silver cups | © Jeremy T. Hetzel / Flickr

According to Woodford Reserve’s master distiller, there’s a right way and a wrong way to enjoy your hard-earned mint julep. Wrong way: Down in one. Right way: Use a straw, which helps mix the sugar and the mint. Second, aim to finish your drink in 22 sips, which should take you about an hour. This, of course, corresponds perfectly with the amount of time between the races at Churchill Downs, where the Derby takes place.

These tony drinks have been sold at the Derby before, and have always sold out. It’s not a bad way to celebrate with something more than a little extra at an event that is known for being a little extra itself. (The Derby is a famous sea of enormous hats and seersucker suits.)

And if the four-digit price leaves you with a bit of sticker shock but you’re still planning on going to the Derby, don’t despair. There are thousands of mint juleps sold at the races every year, and most go for the far more wallet-friendly price of just $11.

But if it’s been a big year for you and you’re looking to celebrate, look no further than the $1,000 mint julep—a special drink for a special occasion.

Bottoms up.