Four Roses Partners with Kentucky Derby Festival for 18th Annual ‘Rose Julep’ Cocktail Competition

March 22, 2021

Six regional bartenders will compete for best julep recipe


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 22, 2021) – 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.

Though a bit different from year’s past, the tradition will continue on this year as six regional bartenders from Louisville, Lexington and Northern Kentucky compete in the 18th Annual Rose Julep Cocktail Competition. The creative mixologists have handcrafted julep recipes all their own, using Four Roses Small Batch, along with an array of unique ingredients, including bananas, black tea syrup, lingonberry shrub, roasted pineapple-chipotle syrup and more. Between Monday, March 22, and Monday, April 5, these select mixologists will compete in this year’s competition:



  • Colleen McCarthy, Martini Italian Bistro
  • Isaac Fox, La Chasse


  • Mike Abbott, Goodfella’s Wise Guy Lounge
  • Shay Bustle, Thirsty Fox

Northern Kentucky:

  • Bill Whitlow, Rich’s Proper Food & Drink
  • Lauren Pellecchia, O’Neal’s Tavern*

*O’Neals Tavern is currently closed, in order to try Lauren’s cocktail please visit to get the recipe and try it at home.

During that time the public is encouraged to try each of the creative julep recipes by either visiting any or all of the bartenders’ locations and ordering their handcrafted cocktails, or by participating online by visiting to get the recipes and test them out at home. Then participants can vote for their favorite handcrafted recipe online by heading to

In addition to the People’s Choice award chosen by the public, a panel of beverage industry experts will taste and score the juleps based on aroma, creativity, taste and presentation to crown the Judges’ Choice winner.

The winning cocktails will be announced on April 8 and those cocktails will be available at the participating locations to enjoy throughout Derby season.

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 or find us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.



Jordan Shellhaas

(502) 930-4888

[email protected]

Lauren Marcum

(502) 839-2671

[email protected]

Enjoy Like a True Kentuckian: Responsibly