Mint Julep Mocktail

Kentucky Derby Party Tips

by Alli

This post, Mint Julep Mocktail, contains affiliate links. I earn from qualifying purchases. 

The Kentucky Derby will be here soon!

The Kentucky Derby is a horse race held every year in Louisville, Kentucky, at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May.

I’ve never been, but I’ll use any excuse to throw a party and enjoy a Mint Julep Mocktail. Make sure you check out all my alcohol-free mocktails.

Kentucky Derby Party - Mint Julep Mocktail

The Kentucky Derby is now over 145 years old!  It’s the first round of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred racing. The purse is worth $2 million and the field is open to 20 horses.

Secretariat still holds the Kentucky Derby record, set in 1973. He went on to win the Triple Crown – the first horse to do so in 25 years. Secretariat, the movie, was released in 2010.

Kentucky Derby - Mint Julep Mocktail

If you’re headed to The Kentucky Derby or throwing a Kentucky Derby party, be sure to dress the part.

It’s all about that hat! Women usually wear wide-brimmed hats (or fascinators) and spring dresses. You’ll see hats ranging from casual to elegant to downright eccentric.

Mint Julep Mocktail - Kentucky Derby Hat

Men sport vibrant colors including bright pastels, plaids, or seersucker. They generally top it off with a blazer and a necktie or bow tie.

Mint Julep Mocktail

The official drink of The Kentucky Derby is the Mint Julep. The traditional Mint Julep is made with bourbon and served in a pewter julep cup.

Since I don’t drink alcoholic beverages, I created a Mint Julep Mocktail that’s pretty tasty. And, I’m using a crystal julep cup because I think it’s pretty. You can find it here.

Mint Julep Mocktail Recipe

If you’re having a large party, double or quadruple this mint julep mocktail recipe.

Mint Julep Mocktail

Mint Julep Mocktail Recipe


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups ginger ale, chilled
  • 6 Mint leaves
  • Lemon slices, for garnish


  1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the water, sugar, lemon juice and mint. Let stand for 35 minutes.
  3. Strain mint and discard.
  4. Place ice cubes in a large pitcher. Add the lemon mixture and the ginger ale.
  5. Garnish with lemon and mint.

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Kentucky Derby Party Tips

When it comes to hosting a Kentucky Derby Party, be sure and plan the party so you can watch the actual race. I love these invitations!


Food Ideas For The Kentucky Derby

There are certain foods that are essential for your Kentucky Derby party. Here are my favorites.

Kentucky Hot Browns Pair Perfectly With Mint Julep Mocktails 

The Kentucky Hot Brown is an open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon and a delicate Mornay sauce. It was created in the 1920s by Chef Schmidt at The Brown Hotel in Louisville. It’s a must for your Kentucky Derby party.

Mint Julep Mocktail and Kentucky Hot Brown

Pecan Pie

My Pecan Pie Cobbler is perfect for this party. You can even add a dash of bourbon if you’d like, but it’s delicious just the way it is.

Mint Julep Mocktails - Most Viewed Posts - Dixie's-Pecan-Pie-Cobbler


Since Run for the Roses is the official nickname of The Kentucky Derby, decorate with roses. You can place them in julep cups and line them up down the table as a centerpiece.

Here are some of my favorite Kentucky Derby party decorations!

Whether you’re planning a party and getting all dressed up in a crazy cool hat or casually watching the derby with your family, enjoy a Mint Julep Mocktail. You’ll almost feel like you’re there.

Have you ever been to The Kentucky Derby?

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robin rue April 30, 2018 - 5:32 am

Kentucky Derby parties are such a southern thing, but I would love to go to one some day. We don’t get into it like that up here in New England and there are no Kentucky Derby parties or anything, but maybe I will start a trend LOL 🙂

Tasheena April 30, 2018 - 6:47 am

These are really fun and exciting tips for hosting a Kentucky Derby party. Love all of your ideas and I can’t wait to try the recipe.

Tomi C April 30, 2018 - 7:26 am

The secret – so I’ve been told – to the perfect mint julep is all in the simple syrup. I am looking forward to watching the parade of hats during the derby and sharing a mint julep or two.

candy April 30, 2018 - 7:56 am

Oh the wonderful Kentucky Derby with the wonderful big hats, horses running and the wonderful mint drinks. Something to look forward to and time to start getting ready for the derby.

Amber Myers April 30, 2018 - 8:19 am

I’m pretty sure I’d enjoy this cocktail! It sounds refreshing. I’ve never been to the Kentucky Derby before. I’d probably go for the drinks and food.

Jeanettte April 30, 2018 - 9:42 am

I know I would love this cocktail! Believe it or not I have never tried a mint julep. In all honesty I actually forgot about the drink altogether. This looks easy enough to make and I know I would love it.

Melissa Chapman April 30, 2018 - 10:08 am

The race is always fun to watch and the mint julep you describe is perfect for that time of the day. This is making me feel like the weather will finally change when it is Kentucky Derby time.

Karen Morse April 30, 2018 - 10:13 am

I’ve never been to the Kentucky Derby before and it sure sounds like a fun-filled day. Love that mocktail recipe though, I could definitely use that for parties especially this summer!

Janet- shabbyfufu April 30, 2018 - 11:17 am

These look delicious for a summer fete and I’m pinning for later. We enjoy following the Kentucky Derby, since it’s such a long tradition here in the south.

Teresa April 30, 2018 - 11:21 am

I don’t drink, so this would be perfect for me. Whenever I go to a party, everyone always forgets that I don’t drink booze, so there is nothing for me except a glass of water ☺ This looks really tasty

Lisa April 30, 2018 - 12:20 pm

Yum. I don’t think I have ever had a Kentucky Hot Brown but it looks so tasty. And your mint julep looks like the perfect spring drink.

Emily May 1, 2018 - 10:45 am

I think a Kentucky Derby party would be a lot of fun! I love an excuse to dress up and this one can involve a big hat too! This drink sounds so good, I will have to give it a try.

Peter May 1, 2018 - 5:09 pm

I personally have never been. I would love to go one day. I do love the horses. Eccentric as the hats may be, they are pretty amazing to look at

Peter May 1, 2018 - 5:17 pm

An how refreshing is this delicious mocktail to keep you well quenched!

Carol Cassara May 1, 2018 - 9:33 pm

So much fun to experience! I think it’s awesome that you’re attending the derby! It’s all too exciting. This mocktail is definitely worth a try and it’s great for parties this spring/summer!

Sara Welch May 1, 2018 - 11:23 pm

I would love to try this drink out sometime! I have always wanted to go to an actual derby one of these years.

Kita Bryant May 1, 2018 - 11:24 pm

I have never had a mint julep style drink before. This one looks very tasty and would go great with a derby party!

Angelic Sinova May 2, 2018 - 11:13 pm

I love getting Mint Julep’s whenever I visit Disneyland. They’re super tasty. I’ve never really followed along with the Kentucky Derby but I’ve alway looks seeing people wear those fancy hats.


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