PHOTOS BY Robert Grimm

Leading up to last weekend’s Kentucky Derby, Woodford Reserve unveiled its 2015 edition of the iconic $1,000 Mint Julep Cup, with net proceeds from the cup sales benefiting the Wounded Warrior Equestrian Program.

Each year, Woodford Reserve has selected a charitable organization to receive the net proceeds from the $1,000 Mint Julep Cup sales. To honor the tenth year of the program, the public was asked to help determine which of two pre-selected organizations would receive the donated proceeds by voting on the official $1,000 Mint Julep Cup website. Nearly 3,000 votes were recorded during the voting period of March 16-30 with the Wounded Warrior Equestrian Program receiving the majority of votes. Woodford Reserve will contribute a nominal donation to the additional participating organization, the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund.

“The Wounded Warrior Equestrian Program is truly appreciative to be receiving the funds raised from the Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup program,” said Bridget Kroger, the organization’s founder and president. “It was an honor to have even been invited to participate in this year’s charity voting program and we are grateful to be able to continue helping veterans and rescued horses alike.”

Now in its 10th year, the 2015 iteration was designed in partnership with fashion designer Billy Reid and acclaimed mixologist Pamela Wiznitzer, resulting in a Mint Julep that’s distinctly modern.

Wiznitzer’s julep represents a new take on the heritage cocktail that is the classic Mint Julep. Using the finest ingredients, the recipe honors the history behind the cocktail while also appealing to contemporary julep drinkers.

Woodford Reserve® 2015 Kentucky Derby® Mint Julep
• 2 oz Woodford Reserve Double Oaked
• .75 oz Coconut Palm Sugar Syrup
• 6-8 Chocolate Mint Sprigs
• Candied Orange and Lemon Slices for garnish
Powdered Sugar

Combine ingredients and shake with the mint. In the Julep glass, place 3 sprigs of the mint at the bottom and top with crushed ice. Strain over crushed ice into a julep glass, and insert a metal spoon straw. Top it with a mint sprig and candied orange/lemon slice and powdered sugar.

The signature Mint Julep cups were designed by Billy Reid and handcrafted at Louisville-based jeweler, From the Vault. The cups pay tribute to Derbies past, while at the same time looking to the future of this iconic event.

“I was inspired by a book I had found many years ago while researching the Kentucky Derby,” said Billy Reid. “The Derby is an event steeped in heritage and tradition, and I’m honored to have been invited to design something as iconic as the $1,000 Mint Julep Cup for a brand as unparalleled as Woodford Reserve.” The all-over “thrown roses” pattern, engraved on each silver and gold-plated cup, was inspired by the cascade of roses draped over the horses.

Victory Cups and Winner’s Circle Cups were presented in an oak box designed by Nashville woodworker Christian Fecht, and lined with Billy Reid’s custom, “thrown-roses,” silk fabric. Online sales closed on April 30, 2015 and any unsold cups were available for purchase at Churchill Downs® on Kentucky Derby Day.

About Wounded Warrior Equestrian Program
The WWEP raises awareness to the healing powers of horses by supporting equine therapeutic programs and horse rescues around the United States. The WWEP is working to “Give Veterans and Horses A New Lease On Life…one hoof, one boot at a time.” For more information, please visit: