05_ML_Kentucky Derby_Featured Image

The most exciting two minutes in sports is here…it’s Kentucky Derby time! Ladies, it’s time to grab your big hats and spring-colored dresses. Fellas, it’s time to pull out that pastel-colored suit in the back of the closet. What’s that?! You don’t own a pastel-colored suit, you say? No biggie, lighter colors will work with khakis and a blazer. Spice up your Derby outfit with a fun tie or bow-tie for added flair. Besides the Derby, the best part of the event is obviously…the Derby parties! The parties give you the opportunity to cook some Derby-themed meals like our Kentucky Hot Brown and enjoy delicious drinks. What would a Derby party with fancy outfits and big hats be without some delicious cocktails?

Now to the cocktails! We have a couple recipes for the fellas and a couple for the ladies. Feel free to try them all. Each one is Derby-licious!

For Both:

Cucumber Mint Cooler



  • 3 slices hothouse cucumber
  • 3 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons simple syrup
  • 1/2 lemon, for juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 3 ounces lemon-lime soda
  • Cucumber slice and mint leaves, for garnish.


  • Muddle cucumber, mint, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a Collins glass.
  • Add ice and vodka; stir well.
  • Top with lemon-lime soda. Garnish with cucumber and mint leaves.

Food pairing:

For Him:

Minted Whiskey-Grapefruit Smash


Ingredients:05_MJL_KentuckyDerby_Minted-Whiskey-Grapefruit Smash

  • 1/3 cup warm simple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cups pink grapefruit juice, divided
  • 3/4 cup whiskey
  • 4 drops aromatic bitters
  • 1 cup sparkling wine, chilled
  • 4 grapefruit segments


  1. Combine warm simple syrup and mint leaves in small bowl. Let stand 30 minutes or until cool. Remove and discard mint leaves.
  2. Fill four highball glasses with ice. Combine mint syrup, grapefruit juice, whiskey, and bitters, then divide among glasses.
  3. Top each glass with sparkling wine. Garnish with grapefruit segments.


Chihuahua Bite



  • 8 watermelon chunks
  • 1 small jalapeño, sliced into rings
  • 2 ounces silver tequila
  • 1 ounce agave nectar
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • Sugar (optional, to rim glass)
  • Watermelon slice, for garnish


  1. Muddle watermelon and a few jalapeño slices in cocktail shaker. (Vary amount of jalapeño to taste; remove seeds/membranes for less heat.)
  2. Add ice, tequila, agave and lime juice. Shake well; strain into an ice-filled highball glass.
  3. Garnish with watermelon.

Food pairing:

For Her:

Juicy Fruit


  • 3/4 ounce vodka
  • 1/2 ounce peach schnapps
  • 1/2 ounce banana liqueur
  • 3 ounces pineapple juice
  • Lime slice, for garnish


  1. Fill cocktail shaker with ice; add all ingredients (except garnish).
  2. Shake well; strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.
  3. Garnish with a lime slice.

Food pairing:



There you have it! The winning cocktail recipes for the best Derby party. Let us know in the comments who you think is going to win the race!

Drink Responsibly.  Be 21.

Matthew L.

Written by

Matthew L. started with Publix in 2009. After working his way up to a Publix Manager, Matthew decided to make a change from retail and pursue his passion for writing. Matthew enjoys hearing stories from the people he's writing about and loves the Publix culture. Outside of work, Matthew enjoys spending time with his wife and their dog, Edmund. They love to explore all that Central Florida has to offer.

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