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Mint Julep Charity Program worth $1,000 and $5,000 during Kentucky Derby Week

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Woodford Reserve has released its $1,000 and $5,000 Mint Julep Cups ahead of the 150th Kentucky Derby.

A total of 300 rare julep cups were created for the annual charity program, each depicting the iconic twin towers of Churchill Downs decorated with either emeralds or crystals.

“These julep cups are a tribute to 150 years of greatness,” said Elizabeth McCall, Woodford Reserve Master Distiller, in a press release. “They are a true spectacle and every detail has been handcrafted.”

This year's proceeds will benefit the Backside Learning Center, an independent nonprofit organization that provides support and resources to Churchill Downs' diverse community of track workers and their families.

“We are delighted to have been selected by the Woodford Reserve team as a beneficiary of this year’s Julep Cup proceeds. Every day we see the hard work and sacrifice of hundreds of people who are truly the unsung heroes of the sport,” said Sherry Stanley, executive director of Backside Learning Center. “The awareness and support this opportunity brings is critical to our important mission as we provide transformative programs and services to a community so central to the industry.”

Handcrafted by Louisville-based jeweler From the Vault, each mug is engraved with the 150th anniversary of the Kentucky Derby (1875-2024).

A total of 300 cups are available:

  • 200 are silver cups priced at $1,000 with 44 emeralds.
  • 100 of them are gold cups priced at $5,000 with 44 crystals. The gold cups include a limited edition commemorative picture book that celebrates the 150 years of the Kentucky Derby.

Cups can be picked up at the $1,000 Mint Julep Cup Experience at Churchill Downs on Friday, May 3, or Saturday, May 4. For the first time, customers will also have the option of having the trophies delivered to their home in time for the Derby celebrations.

The 2024 Mint Julep recipe features Woodford Reserve Bourbon and handmade rose-infused honey syrup, honoring the 150th Run for the Roses celebration.

How to prepare The Rose Mint Juelp:

The Rose Mint Julep Recipe

  • 2 ounces Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon rose honey simple syrup
  • 6 mint leaves
  • Miniature rosebuds for garnish

Wipe mint leaves in a julep cup to release the scent and flavor. Drop the leaves into the cup. Add rose-infused honey syrup, crushed ice, and Woodford Reserve Bourbon to the cup. Garnish with mint and miniature rosebuds.

Rose honey simple syrup recipe

Add a handful of rose hips to a jar of honey. Let it sit for two weeks. Filter out any remaining rose hips. Add one part rose honey and one part water to make a simple syrup.

Reach introduces reporter Kirby Adams at [email protected].