The Kentucky Derby - The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports!

The Run for the Roses was started by the grandson of the Lewis & Clark Expedition's William Clark. Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr. spent some time hanging around race tracks in Europe and brought England's derby concept back to KY. Two uncles from the Churchill side of his family donated land that ultimately became Churchill Downs. Clark, Jr. started the Louisville Jockey Club to raise money to build the iconic sports venue.

Of course, many evolutions of the event have occurred since its first race in 1875, including the length of the race, the betting process, and the addition of radio and television  broadcasts. However, tradition has not been lost along the way. 

Winning horses are still celebrated with roses, which Meriwether began by awarding a bouquet of the red beauties to the jockey. Stunning hats, which started appearing with the television cameras, the singing of My Kentucky Home as the horses hit the track, and Mint Juleps are the signature attractions for this heart-racing equine competition.

At Sammy's Buy-Rite, we have everything you need to create your own Kentucky Derby celebration, including a huge selection of barrel-aged Bourbons, simple syrup, and Finlandia Vodka (official Vodka of the Derby).

We would surely be remiss if we did not provide the recipe for the Derby's Woodford Reserve Classic Mint Julep! For those at the party who are not Julep fans, we've included two more Derby-sponsored cocktail options.

  Woodford Reserve $37.99/750ml, Simple Syrup - $4.99/12 oz                                                             $32.99/750ml      $26.99/1.75ml        

Woodford Reserve Classic Mint Julep    

  • 2 oz. Woodford Reserve Bourbon      
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • 3 fresh mint leaves
  • crushed ice

Express the essential oils in the mint and rub them inside a tall glass. To the same glass, add the simple syrup, bourbon and crushed ice. Stir. Garnish with more ice and fresh mint.           

Old Forester Old Fashioned                

  • 2 oz. Old Forester 100 Proof Bourbon
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 jigger water    
  • 2 dashes of Aromatic Bitters 
  • Cherry and lemon peel for garnish                        

In an Old Fashioned glass, add sugar and water.  Stir and dissolve sugar.  Add 2 dashes of aromatic bitters and 2 oz. Bourbon.  Stir, add ice and garnish with Cherry and Lemon Peel.

Finlandia Spicy Bloody Mary               

  • 1 46 oz. can tomato juice
  • 1 c Finlandia® Vodka
  • 1/2 c lemon juice
  • 4-6 drops Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds optional

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher, cover and chill for 24 hours. Serve over ice. Garnish with celery sticks, asparagus spears, green onion, etc.

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