Kentucky Derby Signature Drink: How to make a mint julep

The Kentucky Derby is a sporting event immersed in tradition and spirit – so what better way to watch the Run for the Roses than with a mint julep in hand?

The mint julep has been the official drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1939, although its origins trace back to the first Derby Day in 1875. This iconic bourbon cocktail is still served to Kentucky Derby guests to this day, typically presented in silver or pewter cups that create a crisp, frosted effect.

Thousands of guests will be enjoying a mint julep at Churchill Downs on race day, but that doesn’t mean that the classic drink can’t be just as good wherever you are.

The 2024 Kentucky Derby takes place on Saturday, May 4, airing on NBC and streaming on Peacock. See below to learn how to make the Derby’s most iconic drink, the mint julep.

How to make a mint julep

Learn how to make your own mint julep with Alton Brown of Food Network’s recipe.


  • 10 mint leaves, extra sprig for garnish
  • 1 ½ teaspoons superfine sugar
  • Seltzer water
  • Crushed ice
  • 2 ½ ounces Kentucky bourbon whiskey


At the bottom of an old-fashioned glass, place your 10 mint leaves with sugar on top. Gently muddle the two together, releasing the essential oils from the leaves.

Add a splash of seltzer water to the mixture and fill ¾ of your glass with crushed ice. Fill the rest of the glass with your Kentucky bourbon whiskey and stir well. Once the drink is prepared, garnish it with a sprig of mint to complete the look.

Tip: Before garnishing the drink, try gently slapping the sprig with your hand to release aromatic oils from the mint.

Now, sit back and sip on your mint julep as you watch 20 horses compete for the ultimate crown at the Kentucky Derby on NBC.

How to watch the 2024 Kentucky Derby:

  • Date: Saturday, May 4
  • Time: Live coverage begins at 2:30 PM ET
  • Where: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky
  • TV Network: NBC
  • Streaming: Peacock,, NBC Sports app

How to watch Horse Racing on Peacock:

NBC Sports is the exclusive home to the most important and prestigious events in horse racing, including the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Royal Ascot, and Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series.

Click here to sign up and follow all of the horse racing action.

When is the 2024 Kentucky Derby?

The 2024 Kentucky Derby takes place on Saturday, May 4 at 2:30 PM ET on NBC and Peacock.

The Kentucky Derby purse has been raised to $5 million for the 150th edition in May.

Who won the 2023 Kentucky Derby?

Mage and jockey Javier Castellano won last year’s Kentucky Derby finishing the race with a time of 2:01.57. Relive the moment here:

What devices does Peacock support?

You can enjoy Peacock on a variety of devices. View the full list of supported devices here.

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