Regional mixologists compete for best mint julep

Four Roses Bourbon and Kentucky Derby Festival host the 20th annual Rose Julep Cocktail Competition on March 16

Four Roses Bourbon is helping to kick off the Kentucky Derby Festival by raising a glass of the season’s signature cocktail. Over the years, bartenders have continually put unique twists on the classic Mint Julep—made with crushed ice, bourbon, simple syrup and fresh mint—but which julep recipe reigns supreme? Four Roses and the Kentucky Derby Festival have partnered together again this year to find out. 

Eight regional bartenders from Louisville, Lexington and Northern Kentucky areas will go head-to-head at the 20th annual Rose Julep Cocktail Competition at Mellwood Art Center on Thursday, March 16. The contest will take place at the Kentucky Derby Festival’s “Festival Unveiled” event, beginning at 5 p.m.

The following mixologists qualified to participate in this year’s competition:

– Em Sego, North of Bourbon, Louisville, Ky.
– SC Baker, Bar Expo, Louisville, Ky.
– TJ Ghant, NoraeBar, Louisville, Ky.
– Colleen McCarthy, Martini Italian Bistro, Louisville, Ky.
– Bill Whitlow, Rich’s Proper Food & Drink, Cincinnati, Ohio 
– Katie Sherman, The Break Room, Lexington, Ky.
– Romondo Tatum, Jake’s Cigar Bar, Lexington, Ky.
– Hannah Reid, Rackhouse Tavern, Lexington, Ky.

These finalists were selected from a group of more than 20 applicants to compete for the top honors of Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice. The creative mixologists have handcrafted julep recipes using Four Roses Small Batch along with an array of unique ingredients. A panel of beverage industry experts will taste and score the juleps based on aroma, creativity, taste and presentation.

The public is also invited to help judge the entries. Bourbon lovers can sample all eight Rose Julep recipes and cast their votes for the People’s Choice category. Tickets to Festival Unveiled and the Rose Julep Cocktail Competition cost $50 in advance and can be purchased online at

Four Roses Bourbon Mint Julep Competition

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