Four Roses Partners with Kentucky Derby Festival for 17th Annual ‘Rose Julep’ Cocktail Competition

February 24, 2020
Six regional bartenders will compete for best julep recipe
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (February 24, 2020) – When you think of the Kentucky Derby Festival, you may also think of a mint julep – crushed ice, mellow Bourbon, simple syrup and fresh mint, all muddled together in a silver cup. Over the years, bartenders have continually put unique twists on this classic cocktail, but which julep recipe reigns supreme? Four Roses and the Kentucky Derby Festival have partnered together again this year to find out.

Six regional bartenders from Louisville, Lexington and Northern Kentucky will compete at the 17th annual Rose Julep Cocktail Competition at Mellwood Arts Center on Thursday, March 5. The contest will take place at the Kentucky Derby Festival’s “Festival Unveiled” event, from 5-8 p.m.

Two finalists from each market have been selected to participate in this year’s competition:


  • Travis Shireman, Taj Louisville
  • Jason Stark, Martini Italian Bistro

  • Katie Sherman, Goodfella’s Wise Guy Lounge
  • Oliver Winn, Parlay Social

Northern Kentucky:

  • Giacomo Ciminello, Night Drop
  • Bill Whitlow, Rich’s Proper Food & Drink

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 all their own, using Four Roses Small Batch, along with an array of unique ingredients, including macadamia brittle ice cream, spiced red Anjou pear Riesling syrup, Crude Attawanhood Bitters and more. 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 six Rose Julep recipes and cast their votes for the “People’s Choice” category. Tickets to Festival Unveiled and the Rose Julep Cocktail Competition cost $40 in advance and can be purchased online. This event will begin at 5 p.m.


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