Non-traditional Derby Drinks

Hello! Lindsay from Bourbon & Lipstick again.

Derby is (thankfully) upon us and it’s time to celebrate! While the Mint Julep is the official drink of the Derby, I’m not a huge fan. I’ll drink one to be festive but otherwise opt for different bourbon cocktails. Here are a couple of my favorites that are also perfect for all spring and summer happenings.

Kentucky Mule



2 ounces of Bourbon (I used my current go-to, Bulleit)

4 to 6 ounces of Ginger Beer (can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic)



I used this recipe for reference, though I didn’t measure the ingredients out by ounce… I eyeballed it. I also prefer more bourbon – but that’s just me! I poured my drink over ice; use as many cubes as desired (I use a sphere mold because it melts slower). Add ice to Moscow Mule glass (or whatever glass you prefer), squeeze in lime juice, add bourbon and ginger beer. Stir. Enjoy.

If you want to keep things local, Butchertown Soda makes a delicious ginger beer. That’s what I used for this recipe.

And, if you don’t have ginger beer on hand, try an Ale-8-One (or ginger ale, if Ale8 isn’t your thing). I like to call that a MoCo Mule – named after Montgomery County (my home county) and only 15 miles from Winchester, Kentucky, the home of Ale8.


This next recipe comes from one of my girlfriends, Sheryl from How to Make a Life. This bourbon margarita recipe is perfect for Derby or your Cinco de Mayo celebration! Why not keep the party going all weekend?

Maker’s Mark Makerita


1 ounce Maker’s Mark Bourbon

1 ounce Orange Liqueur

1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice

3/4 ounce light agave nectar


Fill shaker with ice and ingredients. Shake, strain over a highball glass. Enjoy!


What’s your favorite bourbon cocktail? Happy Derby!