The Kentucky Turtle Derby

The first Saturday in May is known in Kentucky as Derby Day, but another racing tradition is growing in popularity in the Bluegrass State.

The Kentucky Turtle Derby, put on by Old Forester, is billed as the “slowest two minutes in sports” and will be broadcast in more than 10,000 bars nationwide on Derby Day.

The first Kentucky Turtle Derby was held in 1945 during wartime, the last time before 2020 that the Kentucky Derby was not able to be held. Old Forester resurrected this sporting event in 2020 when the real Kentucky Derby was canceled.

Fans can answer questions about the turtles between now and May 7th at Draft Kings for a chance at a $5000 split pot.

Today the post positions for the turtles were announced:

  1. The Grass Is Greener
  2. Bayou Believin’
  3. Snappy And You Know It
  4. Babbling Brooke
  5. American Hardshell
  6. Hiding In Plain Sight
  7. Out Of The Bog
  8. Sloane

The Old Forester Mint Julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Turtle Derby. If you can’t get the premade bottled version, it’s easy to make your own at home:

  • 2 oz Old Forester 86 Proof (*the author prefers 100 Proof because of dilution)
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • 3 mint sprigs for garnish
  • crushed or pebble ice

Pack a julep cup with ice. In a mixing glass combine Bourbon, simple syrup, and mint leaves. Muddle mint leaves lightly and strain the mixture into the julep cup. Garnish with spanked mint. Serve with a straw near the mint for the full effect.

Photos Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl and Old Forester

Maggie Kimberl is a spirits journalist focusing on whiskey culture in the United States, though she considers herself to be 'geographically blessed' to live in the epicenter of the bourbon world, Louisville, Kentucky. When she's not covering the bourbon beat you can find her browsing through vintage vinyl with her kids or tending to her homegrown tomatoes. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and check out her blog.

1 comment on “The Kentucky Turtle Derby

  1. Pingback: Heaven Hill to build new Bardstown distillery - American Whiskey Magazine

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