Churchill Downs Cocktail

The Mint Julep may be the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, but if you’re looking to break from tradition and put your own spin on Derby Day imbibing, this cocktail from Blokes & Birds in Chicago offers some delicious inspiration. Named in honor of the racetrack that hosts Kentucky’s famous horse race, this twist on the classic Mint Julep calls on fresh basil, pineapple and reposado tequila for a refreshing sipper that’s a cinch to make, giving you plenty of time to jockey for a spot closer to the tv. 

2 oz. reposado tequila
1 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup (1:1)
6 fresh basil leaves
3 fresh pineapple cubes
Tools: muddler, shaker, strainer
Glass: small Julep or rocks
Garnish: fresh basil leaf

In a shaker, gently muddle the pineapple and basil. Add the remaining ingredients and shake with ice cubes. Strain into a Julep cup or rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish and serve with a straw.

Justin Leone, Blokes & Birds, Chicago