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I Almost Accidentally Stole Woodford Reserve’s $1,000 Mint Julep

Today, April 11, beloved whiskey brand Woodford Reserve announced their $1,000 Mint Julep charity program just in time for the much-anticipated Kentucky Derby.

This program is paying homage to bourbon’s French connection to help benefit Old Friends Farm, a charity that allows famous thoroughbreds (like some of the most iconic past Derby winners) to retire peacefully.

Available are only 148 cups total, honoring this year’s Derby 148. Folks will only be able to purchase these beverages online (you can find them here), with pickup only available at Churchill Downs on Derby Day specifically at the $1,000 Mint Julep Experience. Because this ain’t your average direct-to-consumer product.

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Courtesy of Woodford Reserve

At $1,000 a pop, you might be thinking — are these cups made of gold? The answer is no. They’re made of silver. If you want one of the 18 gold cups available, you’re going to have to spend $2,500 instead.

I got to see one of these gorgeous cups at a press event a few weeks back when I accidentally shoved the $1,000 silver cup into my gift bag.

I wasn’t trying to steal, I promise. I had gone to the bathroom and didn’t realize there was a conversation going on about the cup and its design. All were handcrafted by a Louisville-based jeweler From the Vault, featuring red rubies caked on top in the shape of a horseshoe for that added glam. I, of course, missed this explanation and saw the cup used in the presentation left in front of my seat as I arrived back from the restroom. Thinking it was a gift and everyone else had thrown theirs into the goodie bags under our seats, I did the same.

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I stole $1,000 from Woodford Reserve because I thought it was a gift.

It wasn’t until later when the company heads at Woodford were looking for the cup when I blushingly pulled it out from my bag screaming, “I thought it was free!” Thankfully, I left with a laugh and not in handcuffs.

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Courtesy of Woodford Reserve

Each of these cups will hold a scrumptious whiskey cocktail I had the experience of tasting at the event. With yet another bragworthy name, the $1,000 French Mint Julep was a whirlwind of a blend, marrying orange, lemon and pomegranate together with one of the best bourbons on the planet, Woodford Reserve Bourbon. The cocktail has a citrusy fire to it that pairs exceptionally well with warm weather under a Derby hat to fight that burn. It’s something everyone needs to try, even if you don’t get your hands on that $1,000 mint julep.

That said, if you do end up at this year’s Kentucky Derby and have either $1,000 or $2,500 to spare, splurge on the $1,000 French Mint Julep at the $1,000 Mint Julep Experience. The money goes to an excellent cause and this drink is delicious.

Off to the races? Buy your $1,000 French Mint Julep below.