This Special Bottle of 2021 Kentucky Derby Bourbon May Be Too Beautiful to Drink

With less than a week away from the 2021 Kentucky Derby, it's time to prepare appropriately for the most anticipated horse race of the year. I grew up with horses and have always been enamored with the grandeur and excitement surrounding this race. Even if you're not much of a horse racing fan, it's still fun to watch with all its phenomenal outfits and signature beverages. In honor of the derby, also referred to as the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports, Woodford Reserve, the presenting sponsor of the Kentucky Derby, released its 2021 commemorative bottle.

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Derby Bourbon
Woodford Reserve commemorates the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports with the release of its limited-edition 2021 Kentucky Derby bottle. Alice Chase

First introduced in 1999, the derby bottle has been an annual collector's item that bourbon and racing fans eagerly anticipate. In 2003, Woodford Reserve began featuring content from national artists on its Kentucky Derby bottle.

The 2021 bottle features an original piece by Louisville resident Richard Sullivan, a former professional baseball player. Sullivan's striking watercolor depicts thoroughbreds thundering down the racetrack. The artwork was intended to complement the 2020 derby bottle that Sullivan also designed.

Celebrate the Kentucky Derby Style With a Mint Julep

You can bring the spirit of Kentucky's Churchill Downs races into your home by donning your fanciest derby hat and raising a glass in celebration. The mint julep is perhaps the most renowned of all bourbon refreshments served during the event and is super simple to mix.

Woodford Reserve was kind enough to send over a kit that included everything I needed to make my own whiskey cocktails. With only three ingredients required, it took minimal time to make mint juleps for guests this weekend.

Whether you choose to celebrate with your commemorative bottle of Woodford Reserve or save it as a collector's item, waste no time serving up a mint julep for race day.

Mint Julep

  • 2 oz. Woodford Kentucky Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 3 fresh mint leaves
  • 0.5 oz. simple syrup
  • crushed ice
  • powdered sugar (for garnish)


Rub the mint inside the glass and add bourbon, simple syrup, and crushed ice. Garnish with more ice, fresh mint and powdered sugar.

If you're hoping to track down a commemorative bottle of Woodford Reserve, you'll want to order through Drizly or Reserve Bar right away. A 1 liter bottle will cost $60.

Buy at Reserve Bar and Drizly.

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