Aside from horses or perhaps outlandish hats, nothing says “Kentucky Derby” more than sipping on a Mint Julep. If you can’t get to Churchill Downs, the Butter Run Saloon in St. Clair Shores hosts an annual Derby party (May 5 this year). The saloon uses Woodford Reserve, but boasts one of the largest whiskey selections around — 900 at last count, including nearly 300 bourbons. So if your horse wins, you can always celebrate by ordering one of Butter Run’s rare, limited-edition bourbons: a Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 23-year pour goes for a mere $175. Good Luck!
½ ounce housemade simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
5 fresh mint sprigs (Butter Run grows their own)
2 ounces Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon (or your favorite)
The classic drink is traditionally served in a silver derby mug. Muddle the mint leaves and simple syrup in the bottom of the mug. Add ice, bourbon, and a splash of water. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig. Then sit back and sip while your horse comes in to win, place, or show.