Strawberry Basil Juleps for the Kentucky Derby!

Strawberry Basil Juleps for the Kentucky Derby!

Try this Strawberry Basil Julep for the Kentucky Derby!

If there is one thing synonymous with the Kentucky Derby, it’s the classic mint julep and donning over-the-top big hats. This year, I’ll be hosting a little mint julep party while watching the races. I really want to serve a signature mint julep with a bit of a “twist”. I’m excited to share the recipe with all of you!

I highly recommend taste-testing the traditional mint julep before getting creative behind the bar because it’s absolutely delicious, but if you want to serve up a unique flavor variety, then you must try this strawberry basil julep too. It’s the perfect blend of sweet with lots of garden-fresh flavor too. You can certainly add in a bit of mint for good measure also.

Strawberry Basil Juleps for the Kentucky Derby!

The julep is a strong cocktail, but the crushed ice as well as the strawberry basil flavors help lessen the intensity of the bourbon. Finely dicing the basil helps release its natural oils, giving it a strong basil flavor. The more basil leaves you muddle in the bottom, the stronger the taste. You can absolutely swap the basil for mint in a strawberry mint julep that is also a tasty recipe. Set out both herbs and let your guests decide with a mint julep bar!

Strawberry Basil Juleps


2 Juleps

Perfect signature cocktail for watching the races on Kentucky Derby day!


  • 6 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 bunch basil leaves
  • 6 ounces bourbon
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup


  1. Muddle several strawberry slices and a basil leaf in the bottom of each glass. Use a muddler or the bottom of a wooden spoon.
  2. Fill each glass with crushed ice, layering in sliced strawberries and finely diced basil.
  3. Divide bourbon and simple syrup evenly. Add more simple syrup if preferred.
  4. Garnish with basil leaves and strawberries.

Strawberry Basil Juleps for the Kentucky Derby!

I love to make an occasion out of my fancy cocktails, so a striped straw or other drink stirrer is a must. For an easy DIY stirrer, tie festive ribbon onto a bamboo skewer and stir away! Be sure to set out a few nibbles and bites when serving alcohol. Try mini cucumber tea sandwiches, cheese and crackers, fruit skewers or other “mix and mingle”-style appetizers.


Style a Mint Julep Bar for the Kentucky Derby

Style a Mint Julep Bar for the Kentucky Derby!
Style a Mint Julep Bar for the Kentucky Derby!
Style a Mint Julep Bar for the Kentucky Derby!

The races are just two days away! Are you hosting a viewing party? It’s time to gear up for the Kentucky Derby horse race with a little celebration. The most iconic association with the famous race is none other than the mint julep. The Derby’s signature cocktail is a delicious blend of simple syrup, bourbon, and fresh mint. To mark the occasion, I’ve styled up a mint julep bar (tea car style) to … { read more }

DIY Whimsical Derby Hat Drink Stirrers

Whimsical DIY Hat Drink Stirrers for the Kentucky Derby |
Whimsical DIY Hat Drink Stirrers for the Kentucky Derby |
Whimsical DIY Hat Drink Stirrers for the Kentucky Derby |

The Derby is coming! The Kentucky Derby is just a few weeks away, and it's one of my absolute favorite reasons to sip on some mint juleps. Not that I really need a reason to sip on delicious mint juleps, ha! Watching the races though? Such a fun reason to grab your friends and throw a party. I'll be sharing lots of Derby-inspired party ideas this month, starting with these DIY Derby Hat Drink … { read more }

6 Mint Julep Recipes with a TWIST!

6 Mint Julep Recipes with a TWIST!

I know. I'm really freaking pregnant and talking about alcohol. Since I can't drink it, I'm at least going to talk about it, gosh darn it! That and share gorgeous pictures of mint juleps with you because as luck would have it, #babypizzazzerie is due on DERBY DAY! That's right, the Kentucky Derby is May 3rd this year and that's my due date. Now I know that the statistics show that I'm unlikely to … { read more }

Lavender Mint Juleps + Derby Party Ideas!

Free downloadable lavender mint julep card for Kentucky Derby parties!
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Gold + Lavender Derby Party Ideas!

Hold Your Horses! It's time for a little Derby party inspiration and a darling free cocktail card you can print for your own party. Here's the back story to this little display! Above my desk I have 3 southern gold-foiled prints from Stephanie Creekmur. I happen to think she hung the moon and was at the front of the line when God handed out creative talent. Truly! So we decided that the "Hold Your … { read more }

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas!

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The Kentucky Derby is THIS Saturday! (sidenote: ALSO this Saturday is my Denver Book Signing + Cinco de Mayo!) If you have a horse-watching filled weekend ahead of you, then you'll need some cute party ideas + freebies. This round-up should help ya out! LET THE RACES BEGIN... Sweet Deanna of Mirabelle Creations has some darling (FREE) printables on her site! So hop on over + turn on your … { read more }

{DIY Video} Entertaining Derby Style

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We are gearing up for horse-racing season - one filled with big hats, sun dresses, mint juleps, and of course - lots of entertaining! Ashley Brook Designs has created an exclusive DIY video for all of our readers just for the Derby occasion! I have been so excited about this since she shared her idea with me. Using just a few items, you can create a fabulous striped serving tray for your Derby … { read more }

Kentucky Derby Delight Recipes

Kentuckey Derb Recipes

The Kentucky Derby is an American tradition and the perfect chance to enjoy a mint julep and slice of yummy pie! Whether you're headed to the derby itself, enjoying the Iroquois Steeplechase in Nashville, TN or hosting a viewing party - these recipes will have your guests ooh'ing and aah'ing! Enjoy! Joe's Mint Juleps 2 cups water 2 cups sugar 20 sprigs of mint extra mint to garnish the … { read more }