Kentucky Derby weekend is upon us!
I went to the Derby once and spent the whole race in the area where the jockeys were. It was a lot of fun, but sadly I didn’t drink any mint juleps because I was getting over some sort of ailment.
To be at the Kentucky Derby and not drink a mint julep is a sad, sad thing for me. Those who know me well know that I’m a bourbon girl through and through. I was ridiculously close but no cigar (or mint julep).
Anyhow, check out this vintage whiskey ad! A few things:
- This is a 1938 ad for Early Times whisky in LIFE.
- 1938 is also the year that the mint julep was declared the official drink of Churchill Downs‘ Kentucky Derby.
- For about 20 years, Early Times was used to make the “official mint julep of the Kentucky Derby” at the Kentucky Derby itself.
- Funny enough and despite the ad’s claim, Early Times is considered a straight-up whiskey, not a bourbon that’s traditionally used for mint juleps. Bourbon must be aged in new barrels, and Early Times is aged in used barrels.
- In the U.S., we typically spell “whiskey” with an “e,” but Early Times opts for the spelling without the “e.”
- Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Early Times’ sister brand, is the official bourbon for premium mint juleps at the Kentucky Derby.
Who’s ready to wear fantastic hats and sip mint juleps now?
Photo courtesy Michael Dietsch via Flickr
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