Eight regional mixologists compete for the best mint julep recipe this Derby season

March 7, 2023

Four Roses Bourbon and Kentucky Derby Festival host the 20th annual Rose Julep Cocktail Competition March 16


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 7, 2023) – There’s no better way to celebrate the start of the Kentucky Derby Festival than by raising a glass of the season’s signature cocktail, made with award-winning Kentucky Bourbon. Over the years, bartenders have continually put unique twists on the classic Mint Julep—made with crushed ice, bourbon, simple syrup and fresh mint—but which julep recipe reigns supreme? Four Roses and the Kentucky Derby Festival have partnered together again this year to find out.

Eight regional bartenders from Louisville, Lexington and Northern Kentucky areas will go head-to-head at the 20th annual Rose Julep Cocktail Competition at Mellwood Art Center on Thursday, March 16. The contest will take place at the Kentucky Derby Festival’s “Festival Unveiled” event, beginning at 5 p.m.

The following mixologists qualified to participate in this year’s competition:

Em Sego, North of Bourbon, Louisville, Ky.
SC Baker, Bar Expo, Louisville, Ky.
TJ Ghant, NoraeBar, Louisville, Ky.
Colleen McCarthy, Martini Italian Bistro, Louisville, Ky.
Bill Whitlow, Rich’s Proper Food & Drink, Cincinnati, Ohio
Katie Sherman, The Break Room, Lexington, Ky.
Romondo Tatum, Jake’s Cigar Bar, Lexington, Ky.
Hannah Reid, Rackhouse Tavern, Lexington, Ky.

These finalists were selected from a group of more than 20 applicants to compete for the top honors of Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice. The creative mixologists have handcrafted julep recipes using Four Roses Small Batch along with an array of unique ingredients. A panel of beverage industry experts will taste and score the juleps based on aroma, creativity, taste and presentation.

The public is also invited to help judge the entries. Bourbon lovers can sample all eight Rose Julep recipes and cast their votes for the People’s Choice category. Tickets to Festival Unveiled and the Rose Julep Cocktail Competition cost $50 in advance and can be purchased online at discover.kdf.org/festival-unveiled.

Lauren Burdette
(502) 435-6684
[email protected]


About Four Roses Distillery

Established in 1888, Four Roses combines two mashbills with five proprietary yeast strains to distill and age 10 distinct Bourbon recipes, each with its own unique flavor profile. With distilling and warehousing operations in Lawrenceburg and Cox’s Creek, Kentucky, respectively, Four Roses is dedicated to producing award-winning bourbons with smooth and mellow tastes and finishes. Four Roses is available in all 50 states. For more information, visit www.fourrosesbourbon.com or find us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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