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The Kentucky Derby's $1,000 mint julep

$1k & $2k mint julep glasses from Brown-Forman for the Kentucky Derby
Source: Brown-Forman
$1k & $2k mint julep glasses from Brown-Forman for the Kentucky Derby

If you wanted to buy 125 mint juleps at Churchill Downs during the Kentucky Derby on May 3, it would run you $1,000.

That's a regular $8 Early Times Mint Julep, "the official mint julep of the Kentucky Derby."

But how about spending $1,000 for just one, albeit an over the top version, of the same heady beverage?

Brown-Forman makes both.

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This is the ninth year for the Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep, but each time the concoction, and the fancy vessel that holds it, features a different Derby-related theme. This year it's the 89th time the fastest two minutes in sports will be called The Run For The Roses–though it is the 140th running of the Derby.

If you decide to fork over a grand for the drink you'll get: Ice infused with rose water, candied rose petals, mint julep simple syrup and Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select, the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby.

The dough comes into play when you pour the elixir into the gold-plated mint julep cup that's hand-engraved and sports a medallion of a thoroughbred adorned with the traditional Kentucky Derby Rose Garland, plus a gold-plated sipping straw. On top that, each cup comes in a box made from the same American oak as Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels and is lined with custom silk fabric designed by Vineyard Vines—79 of those will be available.

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Looking for something even fancier?

Brown-Forman is also offering 10 mint juleps for $2,000 each. That's right. The "Royal Rose Cup" version adds a sterling-silver medallion.

Only 10 of those are up for grabs.

What justifies the cost? Woodford Reserve's public relations manager Andrea Duvall says, "It's a beautiful cup and a special experience, but it's rooted in the fact that this is a program for a good cause."

The proceeds benefit Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Center which cares for horses, most of them retired stallions. If you want one, this is the drill: They go on sale Monday, April 14th at 12:00 pm eastern via woodfordreservemintjulep.com.

They're first-come, first-served and sell out every year.

This is the sixth year Jim Hauck of Texas is buying the $1,000 mint juleps.

"They must be a hot item as one was actually stolen off of our table, never to be recovered," Hauck said. He plans to purchase eight this year.

Remember though – you, or a proxy, must retrieve the cup in person at Churchill Downs in Louisville on Derby Day, May 3. Whether you pay $8 or $1,000 for your cocktail, you won't be drinking alone. More than 120,000 mint juleps are served at Churchill Downs on Derby weekend.

Courtesy Jim Hauck

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