Let’s Mingle at the Kentucky Derby Festival

And they’re off! Kentucky Derby season is officially underway and we are less than one month away from the 143rd renewal of The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports in Louisville, Ky.

Nothing goes with the Kentucky Derby quite like Kentucky Bourbon. If you’re a Kentuckian, you’ll have a few opportunities to mingle with us over the next month. Check out our schedule below.

Rose Julep Lexington Cocktail Competition
Tuesday, April 18
Goodfellas Distillery, Lexington, KY

We’ve asked eight Lexington-area bartenders to compete in the 5th annual Rose Julep Lexington Cocktail Competition in hopes of receiving top honors, and bragging rights, for handcrafting the best unique twist on the classic mint julep—which traditionally includes crushed ice, mellow Bourbon, simple syrup and fresh mint, all muddled together in a silver cup.

The competition will be held at the on April 18 at Goodfellas Distillery in Lexington, Ky., beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The competing bartenders include:

  • Natalie White, West Main Crafting Co.
  • Cory Oldfield, Giuseppe’s Ristorante Italiano
  • Emily Burns, Carson’s Food & Drink
  • Johnathan Maiden, Louie’s Wine Dive
  • Oliver Winn, Parlay Social
  • Colin Ciochetty, Belle’s Cocktail Lounge
  • Katie Silver, Brontë Bistro
  • Matt Starling, Goodfellas Distillery

A panel of beverage industry experts will taste and score the juleps based on aroma, creativity, taste and presentation to name the winner in the “Judges’ Choice” category. The public is also invited to sample the cocktails throughout the night and cast their votes for the “People’s Choice” category winner.

In the meantime, here’s a look at our Four Roses Mint Julep cocktail recipe for you to enjoy. Don’t forget to post your juleps on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #HandcraftTheMoment so we can check it out!

Thunder Over Louisville
Saturday, April 22
Waterfront park, Louisville, KY

Now in its 27th year, Thunder Over Louisville was created as the Opening Ceremonies of the Kentucky Derby Festival, offering an explosive kick-off to three entire weeks of celebration in Louisville, Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

We’re excited to be a part of the nation’s largest annual fireworks event this year and look forward to celebrating with you. Four Roses will be the only Bourbon on-site and we have partnered with Drake’s, a neighborhood restaurant & bar, to serve a specialty Four Roses Bourbon cocktail to event attendees.

Fest-a-Ville
Thursday, April 27 – Friday, May 5
Waterfront Park, Louisville, KY

Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront starts Thursday, April 27 and runs through Derby Eve, Friday May 5, where several Festival events, including the awards presentation for the Great Steamboat Race, will be held.

From the opening day ribbon-cutting to Derby Eve, Fest-a-Ville will be the downtown Louisville destination at Kentucky Derby Festival time and promises to have something for everyone, including Bourbon.

Four Roses will be the only Bourbon on-site and we have partnered with Drake’s, a neighborhood restaurant & bar, to serve a specialty Four Roses Bourbon cocktail to event attendees.

The Great Steamboat Race
Wednesday, May 3
Belle of Louisville & Belle of Cincinnati, Louisville, KY

Four Roses Bourbon will again sponsor The Great Steamboat Race. This unique event pits the historic Belle of Louisville against the Belle of Cincinnati in a race down the Ohio river.

On-board, guests are treated to food, entertainment and of course…Bourbon. At a press conference this week, representatives from the Kentucky Derby Festival, the Belle of Louisville and the Belle of Cincinnati selected a different Single Barrel Bourbon to be served aboard each vessel for the event.

The Four Roses barrel coded HW 48-4J was selected as the Bourbon to represent the Belle of Louisville and the Four Roses barrel coded HW 48-4K was selected to represent the Belle of Cincinnati.

Passengers on board both boats will have the opportunity to sample the two Bourbons and vote for their favorite. The boat with the winning Bourbon will receive a Bourbon barrel trophy and bragging rights for a year.