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STRAIGHT UP

Everything of interest to the modern bourbon lover.

Beyond the Mint Julep-How to Make Classic Kentucky Derby Cocktails

Few things are more synonymous together than the Mint Julep and the Kentucky Derby. But, if you’re looking to mix things up on derby day, adding one of these cocktails to the drink menu might just hit the spot.

Bourbon Cream Caffe

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 ounces Ezra Brooks Bourbon Cream
  • 3 ounces cold press espresso (or your favorite coffee)
  • Dash of bitters
  • Nutmeg

DIRECTIONS

Add all the ingredients to a shaker filled with ice and shake. Strain into a rocks filled glass with fresh ice and sprinkle with nutmeg. Garnish with a half rim of nutmeg.

Classic Ginger Mule

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ounces Ezra Brooks Kentucky Straight Bourbon (or whichever Ezra you’re currently sipping on)
  • 2 ounces Cocktail Crate Classic Ginger Mule Craft Mixer
  • Mint Sprig
  • Optional: sparkling water

DIRECTIONS

Add bourbon and mixer to a cocktail tin filled with ice and shake. Strain into a rocks filled glass filled with fresh ice. Top with sparkling water, if desired. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Mint Julep

A derby day mainstay, even if you want to try other drinks, slipping one of these into the cocktail mix is never a bad strategy.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ounces Ezra Brooks Kentucky Straight Bourbon (or whichever Ezra you’re currently sipping on)
  • 1/4 ounce of simple syrup (or mix one ounce water with a teaspoon of sugar)
  • 4-8 mint leaves
  • Optional: silver julep cup

DIRECTIONS

Place your mint leaves inside the julep or cocktail glass and pour your simple syrup on top. Lightly muddle the syrup and mint together. Add your bourbon, then pack the crushed ice on top, leaving room to stir. Stir until the glass becomes frosted or the contents are fully chilled. Pack more crushed ice on top and enjoy.

Boulevardier

Fell like a member of high society with this whiskey twist on the classic negroni.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 ounces Ezra Brooks Straight Rye Whiskey
  • 1 ounce Italian apertif
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth

DIRECTIONS

Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon twist and a cherry.

Kentucky Bourbon Punch

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bottle of Ezra Brooks Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • 12 ounces (or 1 can) of frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 12 ounces (or 1 can) of frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 4 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons of maraschino cherry juice
  • 1.5 liters of club soda
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1/2 cup maraschino cherries

DIRECTIONS

Mix bourbon, orange juice concentrate, lemonade concentrate, lemon juice, and cherry juice together until well mixed. Pour into a punch bowl or pitcher. Add club soda, lemon slices, and cherries.

No matter which cocktail you choose, betting on Ezra Brooks to add a boost to your derby day is the safest gamble you can make. As for which horse to choose on your race card-we can’t help you on that one. Riders (and cocktails) up!