LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – One of the Kentucky Derby’s annual traditions returns this year. As the Woodford Reserve $1,000 mint julep program will be honoring bourbon’s french connection at the 2022 race.

A total of 148 cups, marking the 148th running of the derby will be up for sale. Of the cups, 18 are gold and retail for $2,500, and 130 are silver and retail for $1,000.

One side of the cup is engraved with a horse representing Versailles Kentucky with the other side including a nod to Versailles France.

“The French connections to Kentucky are significant – from Versailles, the home of our distillery – to Louisville, KY, the city where the Derby is run and which was named after King Louis XVI,” said Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris. “Cheers – or as the French would say “Sante” – to Derby 148,” reads the news release.

The cups are handmade by Louisville-based jeweler From the Vault and are now available for sale via www.woodfordreservemintjulep.com.

This year’s cocktail includes ingredients found at France’s Palace of Versailles such as orange, lemon, and pomegranate.

All of the proceeds will benefit Old Friends Farm, where famous horses including past derby winners are sent to peacefully retire.

The French Mint Julep

  • 2 oz. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 2 tsp. honey syrup (½ part Honey from Versailles, France and ½ part water)
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 1 orange peel
  • 2 fresh pomegranate arils, plus more for garnish
  • 1 bunch fresh lemon Mint sprigs, garnish

Directions: In the Julep cup, add honey syrup, 1 peel each of the lemon and orange, 2 pomegranate arils, and muddle. Then fill the cup ⅔ of the way with crushed ice. Add Woodford Reserve and top the cup off with more crushed ice. Garnish by tucking in a fresh bunch of lemon mint, lemon, and orange peels on the side. Top with fresh pomegranate arils and serve.