Derby Race is a sport of the elite. High horses, jockeys, hats, and whiskeys make them a truly luxurious experience. Races that date back to 1780 have become a loved sport throughout the world. While the year 2020 might have been underwhelming, it isn’t successful in attenuating our spirits. This year marks to be a very special occasion in the history of Kentucky Derby and Woodford Reserve. With a different setting, this year’s Derby is one of the most important years. Toasting the races with Woodford Reserve scotch is an annual and cherished tradition at the Kentucky Derby day. Every year, the American small scotch brand releases a new design of the mint julep cups. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first female Derby jockey, Diane Crump.

Jockey Diane Crump with T. Calumet at Hialeah Race Course, circa 1969. Photo by Jim Raftery -Turfotos. Photo from Thoroughbred Times Files, Keeneland Library.
Jockey Diane Crump with T. Calumet at Hialeah Race Course, circa 1969. Photo by Jim Raftery -Turfotos. Photo from Thoroughbred Times Files, Keeneland Library.

The year 1970, Kentucky Derby saw the first female jockey, Diane Crump, and the shift of the racing history forever. Although she finished 15th in the race, the 22-year-old jockey brought in a new era of Derby and horse racing. She was a specimen of resilience and determination as she handled not only a thousand-pound horse but also the catcalling crowds. Since Ms. Crump, there have been five other women to have competed in the Triple Crown race. Ms. Crump retired as a jockey in 1985 and became a horse trainer. Ms. Crump lives in Virginia and remains involved in the horse industry, according to the Brown-Forman Corporation. These limited edition engraved silver- and gold-plated mint julep cups for $1,000 and $2,500, respectively.

Woodford Reserve mint julep cup
The Gold-plated mint julep cup 

The limited-edition mint julep cups have the engravings of the jockey silks Diane Crump adorned during the race in 1970 as well as the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs. The cups are designed and handcrafted by the Louisville jewelers from the Vault in Kentucky. Woodford Reserve would be offering 146 cups in total to mark the 146th running of The Kentucky Derby. Cups numbered 1-25 gold-plated cups, and 2-146 are silver-plated pewter cups. Every julep cup is accompanied by a silver sipping straw. Every keepsake is housed in a special walnut case along with a replica pair of Crump’s turquoise-and-white jockey silks made by Bourbon Cousins of Cincinnati. The Woodford Reserve mint juleps are picked up by the buyers on the Kentucky Derby Day. Still, in the light of the pandemic, the celebration that generally is celebrated on the first Saturday of May has been shifted to 5th September for this year. “The $1,000 Mint Julep program has become a cherished Derby tradition,” Chris Morris, Woodford Reserve’s master distiller, said in a statement. “This year, we are honored to mark an important moment in Derby’s history while also raising money for charity.” Chris Morris would hold a virtual julep experience on Derby Day. The proceeds from the cups would be donated in Crump’s honor to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

The limited-edition mint julep cups celebrate more than just Crump’s golden jubilee and the 146th anniversary of the Derby race. The celebration also marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. The cups have special meaning to Woodford Reserve and its parent company, Brown-Forman, as they celebrate its 150th anniversary. It’s a milestone that’s worth raising a glass to—a $2,500 one at that!

The company has also recommended a special concoction that revels this glorious moment.

Diane Crump Blackberry Mint Julep

  • (blackberry is the official fruit of Kentucky)
  • 2 oz. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • 1 bar spoon Blackberry Preserves
  • 1 bar spoon Simple Syrup
  • Mint Bitters
  • Fresh Blackberries and Mint Sprigs, for garnish
  • Crushed Ice

At the bottom of the julep cup mix 1 bar spoon of blackberry preserves and 1 bar spoon of simple syrup. Add 2 – 4 dashes of mint bitters. Fill two-thirds of the cup with crushed ice. Add sipping straw and Woodford Reserve Bourbon. Top off the cup with more crushed ice (packed in). Top with fresh blackberries and a sprig of mint to garnish. Put the mint near the straw, so the smell enhances each sip.