Kentucky Derby festivities are great but not everyone is a fan of the race’s official cocktail, the Mint Julep. Whether you are searching for festive Derby alternative or a refreshing springtime tipple, we’ve rounded up the best mint cocktails that are fantastic alternatives to the drink of choice at Churchill Downs. From mouthwatering mojitos to satisfying southsides, here are 11 recipes for a delicious mint cocktail.
Classic Mint Mojito
Ingredients:1.5 oz. lime juice (squeezed fresh)1 tsp finely granulated sugar3 mint leaves2 oz white rumClub soda or seltzerInstructions:Muddle the lime juice with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar and mint leaves. Fill the glass about 2/3 with ice and add rum. Garnish with used lime and and top off with club soda or seltzer.More: 19 Mojito Recipes That Put a Spin on the Refreshing Classic
Ingredients:1 oz green crème de menthe 1 oz white crème de cacao .25 oz Branca Menta 1.5 oz heavy creamInstructions:Shake and double strain, serve in a Nick & Nora glass with grated Valrhona chocolate for garnish. Shop Now Branca Menta, $30.54Recipe courtesy of Naren Young at Dante in New York City.
Ingredients: 1.25 oz Tanqueray no. ten .75 oz fresh lime juice.75 oz simple syrup6-8 fresh mint leavesFresh sprig of mint Instructions: Muddle fresh mint leaves in simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add Tanqueray and lime juice. Shake well and pour into a cocktail glass over ice. Garnish with fresh mint sprig. Recipe courtesy of Tanqueray.
Johnnie’s Cuban Soda
Ingredients: 1.5 oz Johnnie Walker Black 4.5 oz coconut soda Ice cubes made from coconut waterLime wheelsMint sprigs Instructions: Place coconut water ice cubes in a soda glass. Add 2-3 lime wheels in the glass. Pour in Johnnie Walker Black and top with coconut soda. Garnish with mint and lime. Recipe courtesy of Daniel Guillen.
Lady Kombucha Cooler
Ingredients: 1.5 oz Ketel One Botanical Cucumber & Mint 1 lemon wedge, squeezed and juiced3 oz Health-Ade Pink Lady Apple Kombucha Instructions:Add the vodka and lemon juice to a chilled glass with ice. Top with the Kombucha and garnish with an apple slice and lemon twist. Recipe courtesy of Ketel One.
The Derby
Ingredients:1 oz Hendricks gin .75 oz lime juice.5 oz simple syrupHandful of mint leaves Seltzer (to top) Instructions: Muddle cucumber and mint. Add Hendricks, lime juice, simple syrup, and ice. Shake. Strain into a highball glass and top with seltzer. Garnish with slices of mint leaves and cucumber. Recipe courtesy of Yaliza Burgos at LeGrande at the Time New York.
Maid in Scotland
Ingredients: 1.5 oz Singleton 12 year single malt scotch .75 oz lime juice.5 oz simple syrup3 slices of cucumber 3 to 4 mint leaves Instructions: Add all ingredients into a shaker, gently muddle the cucumber and mint. Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with cucumber and mint. Recipe courtesy of Singleton 12.

Game, Set, Matcha
Ingredients:1 oz Don Julio Blanco tequila 4 oz unsweetened cashew milk 2-3 sprigs of fresh mint 1 tsp matcha tea powder.75 oz organic raw honey Instructions: Add matcha and 2 oz of the cashew milk to a cocktail shaker. Whisk until the powder has been well incorporated into the milk. Add the tequila, remaining cashew milk, mint sprigs, honey, and ice. Shake well and strain into a highball glass over fresh ice. Garnish with fresh mint. Recipe courtesy of Mixologist Ben Scorah.
Cucumber-Mint Cooler
Ingredients: 1 small cucumber, cut into thin rounds1 (2 inch) knob ginger, peeled and cut into thin slices4 sprigs mint 2 lime wedges2 oz Ketel One Botanical Cucumber & Mint Vodka 6 oz sparkling water Instructions: In a large glass add the cucumber, ginger, 2 mint sprigs, lime, and vodka and muddle together until all the essential oils are released. Strain into a new glass filled with ice. Finish with sparkling water and garnish with 2 sprigs of mint and any additional cucumbers or limes. Shop Now Cucumber & Mint Botanical Vodka, Ketel One, $17.99 Recipe courtesy of Ketel One Botanical
Pear Mojito
Ingredients: 1.5oz Buchanan’s Deluxe 12-year old scotch 1 oz pear juice.75 oz lemon juice.75 oz simple syrup1 bunch of mint leaves Instructions: Muddle mint sprigs with simple syrup and lemon juice. Add Buchanan’s deluxe scotch and pour into a highball glass over ice. Garnish with mint leaves and a pear slice.Recipe courtesy of Buchanan’s Deluxe.
Garden of Green
Ingredients: 1.5 oz Ketel One vodka 5 leaves of apple mint .5 oz snap pea reduction .5 oz lemon juiceSplash of soda waterSmall handful of micro mizuna Instructions for snap pea reduction:Juice or blend the peas with water and then fine strain. Instructions: Tear apple mint leaves and place into mason jar. Add all ingredients except the soda water. Add ice and cap the jar. Shake vigorously. Open the top and add a splash of soda water. Garnish with micro mizun and serve from mason jar. Recipe courtesy of Ketel One.

Lisa J. Church