Last Updated on April 28, 2021 by laurenpacek
The Derby Cup is a delicious cocktail to sip while celebrating Derby Day!
So, what is a Derby Cup Cocktail?
For the uninitiated among us: Mint Juleps are the bourbon-heavy official drink of the Kentucky Derby. They're basically all bourbon, with some simple syrup and fresh mint.
A Pimm's Cup is made with Pimm's No. 1 (a liqueur made from gin, spices, and fruit juice), fresh fruit (think strawberries), and lemon-lime soda or ginger ale.
The Derby Cup combines all of the elements of a Mint Julep with the Pimm's and lemon of a Pimm's Cup. Et voila. Boozy and refreshing.
How should you serve this drink?
While it's not absolutely required, but I'd like to highly recommend serving this cocktail in some Julep cups. They're a classic choice for a Julep-type cocktail. They'll keep your drink frosty cold, too. Plus, they're pretty!
If you don't have Julep cups, or don't want to use them, use a Collins glass. Regardless, lots of crushed ice and fresh, fragrant, mint are pretty much mandatory.
Where did the idea for this delicious concoction come from?
This cocktail recipe comes from the cookbook Batch Cocktails: Make-Ahead Pitcher Drinks for Every Occasion. Though the original recipe is, as the title of the cookbook might imply, for an entire pitcher of these drinks, I scaled it down to make a single cocktail.
Looking for more cocktails to sip while watching the Derby?
Mint Simple Syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
Derby Cup Cocktail
- 1 ¼ oz bourbon
- 1 ¼ oz Pimm's No. 1
- ¾ oz mint simple syrup
- ¾ oz fresh lemon juice
- 3 oz club soda
- fresh mint, for garnish
To make the Mint Simple Syrup
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water.
- Stirring occasionally, heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the mint leaves.
- Allow the simple syrup to cool for an hour before removing the mint leaves and allowing it to cool completely.
To make the Derby Cup Cocktail
- Add the bourbon, Pimm's, mint simple syrup, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker with ice. Stir gently.
- Add the club soda and stir again.
- Strain into a Julep cup that is filled with crushed ice.
- Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.