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Oaks Lily

Oaks Lily

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  • 1 Ounce Grey Goose Vodka
  • 3 Ounces cranberry juice
  • splash of Triple Sec
  • 1 Ounce sweet and sour mix


Once the ingredients are mixed, place the Oaks Lily in a tall glass with crushed ice, add a straw and garnish with an orange wedge and cherry.

What is Oaks Lily &ndash and Why You Should Serve it for Derby

The official drink of the Kentucky Derby is, of course, the mint julep. Many Southerners wouldn&apost dream of watching the Derby without a mint julep in hand to calm their nerves. The Derby just wouldn&apost feel like the Derby without a mint julep—unless you&aposre drinking an Oaks Lily, that is.

The Oaks Lily is the dark horse of Churchill Downs drinking and a favorite of those with the inside scoop on the race track&aposs beverage options. The cocktail is a kissing cousin of the classic Cosmopolitan, made with vodka, sour mix, triple sec, and cranberry juice served over crushed ice. It&aposs a refreshing drink and, easier to sip on all day than the more traditional julep. According to The Louisville Courier-Journal, the Oaks Lily was invented in 2006 by Tim Laird, the chief entertainment officer for Brown-Forman, who wanted to give guests an alternative to the mint julep, if for some reason, (gasp!) they don&apost like bourbon. The cocktail&aposs brilliant hue is meant to mimic the color of the stargazer lilies draped around the neck of the winning horse. At first, Laird only served the cocktail at one of Churchill Downs&apos bars, but after a line formed out the door, he realized the error of his ways. Now, the cocktail is available throughout the racetrack and is the official drink of the Kentucky Oaks, the horse race traditionally held each year on the Friday before the Derby.

A Kentucky Oaks Lily Recipe to Get You Derby Ready

If you know me personally, you know that horse racing is a big part of my life vis-à-vis B. For him, horse racing is more than a hobby – it’s a passion and even a business venture. So, in the almost six years that he and I have been together, I have learned so much about horse racing! Plus, we’ve had the chance to travel the world for various horse racing events. From Kentucky to California and Dubai and England, horse racing has taken us numerous places and created unforgettable memories.

There’s nothing like the Kentucky Derby! Interested in learning more about the Kentucky Derby? Then, check out the Beginner’s Guide to the Kentucky Derby that I wrote last year. And I’ll be sharing more over the next week or so, but for now I’ll share just enough to introduce you to this recipe by Bella.

One thing that people often don’t realize is that the Kentucky Derby consists of two days of racing, not just one. Yep – that means that one needs two outfits, not just one. In fact, Friday is called Kentucky Oaks Day, also known as ladies day or pink day, as everyone wears pink. Furthermore, while you may know that the mint julep is the official drink of Kentucky Derby day, what you may not know is that Friday has its own official drink too!

Indeed, truth be told, I prefer Friday’s drink, the Kentucky Oaks Lily, over a mint julep. So, for today’s recipe, I tasked Bella with putting a little Wear + Where + Well spin on the Kentucky Oaks Lily. So, without further ado, enjoy her berry lily drink recipe below…

By Bella Bucchiotti

This year for your Kentucky Derby party, expand your selection of drinks past the famed mint julep and include this delicious Kentucky Oaks Lily. This drink is so refreshing and tasty that you really can’t go wrong with it any day of the year. I hope you enjoy this berry twist on the popular Kentucky Oaks Lily cocktail. It’s so super easy to make!


  • 1 1/2 Oz. Grey Goose vodka
  • 1/2 Oz. triple sec
  • 3 Oz. cranberry juice (not cocktail)
  • 1 Mint leaf, crushed


  1. Put 2 ice cubes in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add all ingredients and shake to mix well.
  3. Strain and pour into a glass with additional ice.
  4. Garnish before serving.

The Oaks Lily isn’t a bourbon drink, but it does have Derby roots. The cocktail, which featured vodka, sweet and sour and cranberry juice, is the official drink of the Kentucky Oaks, which is run the day before the Derby (Friday, April 30, 12-6 p.m. ET, NBC). The official Oaks Lily recipe suggests a stemless wine glass and blackberries and lemon to garnish.

If you’re looking for something a little cooler, try bourbon slush, a frozen, boozy concoction that puts all other slushies to shame. Besides bourbon, you’ll get tastes of tea, lemonade and orange juice.

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14 Hands Winery graciously hosted us as their guest at the 2016 Kentucky Derby. This once in a lifetime experience was absolutely amazing! We are so thankful.

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Kentucky Mint Julep


  • 2.5 oz Kentucky Bourbon
  • 3/4 oz Simple Syrup
  • 4-5 Mint Leaves more for garnish
  • Crushed Ice


The History of the Kentucky Mint Julep

The Mint Julep has been the official drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1938. However, its history is much more expansive. It was first mentioned in print in 1803 It’s also said that KY Senator Henry Clay made the drink popular in Washington, D.C. at the Round Robin Bar around 1850.

The notoriety doesn’t end there, either — many presidents have fancied the Mint Julep and many writers have made them popular in their works, such as novelists Margaret Mitchell and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Did You Know?

Each year, almost 120,000 Mint Juleps are served over the two-day period of Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby weekend at Churchill Downs Racetrack. That’s a feat that requires more than 10,000 bottles of Old Forester Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint, and 60,000 pounds of ice.

There are few cocktails that are more quintessentially southern than a Kentucky Mint Julep. From my Kentucky kitchen to your glass, I hope you’ll love each sip!

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Did you enjoy my Kentucky Mint Julep Recipe? Read my other blog posts here.

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The Grey Goose Oaks Lily is the official drink of The Kentucky Oaks, but this Lily Punch is will be the official drink of your Derby party!

Derby is in the air! It&rsquos Derby week in Kentucky and if you live anywhere close, you can feel the excitement build each day until the first Saturday in May.

There are many things that are staples of the big day horses, bourbon balls, hats, dresses, pastel suits, and of course drinks. It&rsquos almost impossible to visit the Kentucky Oaks or Derby without mentioning the amazing cocktails that are a huge part of the weekend.

If you&rsquore a frequent visitor to the Derby or Oaks, it may seem like the Grey Goose Oaks Lily has been around since the Mint Julep. In actuality, it was only brought to the Oaks as its official drink in 2006. That&rsquos only 11 years!

I remember going to the Oaks in 2007 or 2008 and having my first Lily and loving every second of it. I decided to recreate it and increase the quantity of the original recipe to make a larger Lily Punch that you could serve to a crowd at your Derby or Oaks party.

It has cranberry, vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, and orange liqueur. If bourbon&rsquos not your jam, then this cocktail will definitely be up your street.

Mint Julep ingredients, recipe

The Mint Julep is a Kentucky Derby staple. In a regular year when Churchill Downs hosts spectators at 100 percent capacity, over 100,000 Mint Julep drinks are sold on Kentucky Oaks Friday and Kentucky Derby Saturday. This requires around 10,000 bottles of Mint Julep mix, 1,000 pounds of fresh mint and 60,000 pounds of ice.

To make your own Mint Julep at home, you can either purchase premade Mint Julep syrup and add ice and mint to garnish or you can make it entirely from scratch with the bourbon of your choice, simple syrup and mint, like the Kentucky Derby’s own recipe, which uses Woodford Reserve (a product of Versailles, Ky.).

Serve it up in an official Kentucky Derby 147 glass—or the Unofficial Kentucky Derby Losers cup, which honors the 146 horses that have finished in last place.

What's Derby Day without a classic mint julep?

Get your cocktail glasses and hats ready for today's edition of @KellyClarksonTV, and don't forget that the @KentuckyDerby comes to NBC this Saturday!

&mdash NBC Sports (@NBCSports) April 27, 2021

How to Make the Oaks Lily

The Oaks Lily is the official cocktail if the other big horse race in Louisville, Kentucky: the Kentucky Oaks! It's a rift on the Cosmopolitan and so refreshing on a hot day of horse racing!


  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 1/2 ounce orange liqueur
  • 3 ounces cranberry juice
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • Garnish: 2 blackberries
  • Garnish: lemon wheel


  1. Add the vodka, orange liqueur, cranberry juice, lemon juice and simple syrup to a highball glass
  2. Fill with ice
  3. Stir gently
  4. Garnish with 2 blackberries and a lemon wheel.

Made this cocktail?

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About me

Welcome to A Lush Life Manual - the How-To guide for living life one cocktail at a time!

I am Susan L. Schwartz, your drinking companion!

Together we will meet those who make what we find in our glass! We travel the globe to taste the best drinks out there.

Watch the video: OFF GRID LIVING. Camping alone, Solo Bushcraft, Shower by the cool stream. Bushcraft u0026 camping Ep5 (June 2022).


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