Make These Kentucky Derby Cocktails If You're Tired of Mint Juleps

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Make These Kentucky Derby Cocktails If You're TirePHOTO: ANDREW BUI; FOOD STYLING: ERIKA JOYCE

The Kentucky Derby is known for a few things—horses, out-of-this-world headwear, and, you guessed it, mint juleps. The derby’s signature cocktail may seem like a newfangled recipe, but this timeless drink has actually been served at the historic race since the 1930s.

Even though mint juleps are a popular pick for those attending the races (or even for those just following along from home), sometimes you want to branch out. If you’re looking for a Kentucky Derby cocktail that is more out of the box, you’re in the right place. From Bourbon Derby punch to innovative whiskey sours, here are some fun and festive drinks that stray away from the traditional mint julep. Enjoy!

Parsley Gin Julep

If you like the idea of a mint julep but aren’t a huge fan of mint, switch it out for fresh parsley. This recipe calls for chilled club soda, but feel free to experiment with any mixer you’d like.

Get the recipe from Delish.

parsley gin recipe
Wendell T. Webber

Gold Rush Cocktail

Reminiscent of a whiskey sour, this lip-puckering drink is made with water, honey, fresh lemon juice, and bourbon whiskey.

Get the recipe from Delish.

gold rush cocktail delishcom


You can never go wrong with an old-fashioned margarita. This one calls for Blanco tequila, triple sec, fresh lime juice, and coarse sea salt for serving. Make sure to garnish with sliced lime along the rim.

Get the recipe from Delish.

margarita recipe delish

Bourbon Derby Punch

Make a large batch of this Bourbon Derby Punch if you plan on having friends or family over to watch the race. Extra points if you prep it in a large crystal bowl and serve it in colorful glasses.

Get the recipe from Country Living.

bourbon derby punch

Kentucky Oaks Blush Lily

The Kentucky Oaks Blush Lily cocktail is the official drink of the Kentucky Oaks race that takes place a day before the Kentucky Derby, but who says you can’t enjoy it during the Kentucky Derby, too? Both refreshing and tasty, this drink is made using cranberry juice, vodka, lime juice, triple sec, and crushed ice.

Get the recipe from Southern Living.

cranberry fizz
Anna Janecka - Getty Images

Champagne Punch

You can never go wrong with a champagne punch. This one uses dry gin, simple syrup, and fresh lemon juice to get its undeniably good taste.

Get the recipe from Southern Living.

close up of glasses with champagne
Anastassiya Bezhekeneva - Getty Images

Jockey Club

We love a themed cocktail. The Jockey Club drink, made with gin, lemon juice, a dash of Angostura Bitters, and a splash of crème de cacao, is precisely what your party’s cocktail menu needs.

Get the recipe from Delish.

gin and tonic cocktail
Cris Cantón - Getty Images

Ginger Lime Whiskey Sour

A perfect anytime drink, this cocktail uses a flavorful ginger-infused simple syrup to get its delicious taste. Top with some candied ginger or lime wedges for the full effect.

Get the recipe for Ginger Lime Whiskey Sour from Delish.

ginger lime whiskey sour
Emily Hlavac Green

Sweet Tea Mint Julep

If you still want to serve mint juleps but want something more unexpected, try this sweet tea mint julep cocktail recipe. It requires only 10 minutes of prep and includes flavorful ingredients, including herbal tea, lemon, and fresh mint.

Get the recipe for from Southern Living.

mint julep
Amy Kate Anderson - Getty Images

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