Four Roses and Kentucky Derby Festival Name Rose Julep Winners

March 10, 2020

Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice selected for best Juleps in Louisville, Lexington and Northern Kentucky areas


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 9, 2020) – Six bartenders from across the region competed for top honors at the 17th annual Rose Julep Cocktail Competition at Mellwood Arts Center, as part of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s “Festival Unveiled” event on Thursday, March 5. A panel of expert judges and the public chose the Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice winning juleps, respectively.

Mixologist Giacomo Ciminello of Cincinnati’s Night Drop took home the Judges’ Choice award for “The Side Eye,” a unique cocktail that mingles Four Roses Small Batch with Branca Mentha, Angostura Bitters orgeat syrup, cacao and mint.

Bartender Jason Stark of Louisville’s Martini Italian Bistro claimed the People’s Choice title for “The Perfect Pear,” a creative mint julep comprised of Four Roses Small Batch, pear, lemon juice, Bittermens Elemakule Tiki Bitters, Ale 8 and mint.

The top six finalists who qualified for this year’s competition included:

  • Travis Shireman, Taj, Louisville
  • Jason Stark, Martini Italian Bistro, Louisville
  • Katie Sherman, Goodfella’s Wise Guy Lounge, Lexington
  • Oliver Winn, Elixir, Lexington
  • Giacomo Ciminello, Night Drop, Cincinnati
  • Bill Whitlow, Rich’s Proper Food & Drink, Covington

The event drew hundreds of people who sampled the competitors’ cocktails and voted for the People’s Choice winner.

The judges scored the juleps based on aroma, creativity, taste and presentation.
Official competition judges included Matt Gibson, Kentucky Derby Festival CEO; Kathryn Gregory, The Courier-Journal; Sarah Shadburne, Business First of Louisville; Scott Recker, LEO Weekly; Joe Daily, United States Bartenders Guild; Colleen McCarthy-Clarke, mixologist and 2019 contest winner; Sara Havens, The Bar Belle; and Monica Wolf, Bourbon Women Association.

Congratulations to the winners and a very happy Kentucky Derby Festival to all!


About Four Roses Distillery
Established in 1888, Four Roses is the only Bourbon distillery that 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 or find us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Lauren Burdette
(502) 589-7711
[email protected]

Lauren Bradley
(502) 839-2671
[email protected]

Enjoy Like a True Kentuckian: Responsibly