Buffalo company attempts world record mint julep for Kentucky Derby

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A Buffalo distillery plans to celebrate the 150th Kentucky Derby by making the world’s largest version of the event’s signature cocktail.

A mint julep is the drink of choice at the renowned horse race, and officials estimate more than 120,000 juleps will be sold this Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Kentucky Derby: How the mint julep became the race’s official drink

But at Hartman’s Distilling Co. in Buffalo’s Old First Ward, they’ll attempt to make one massive mint julep that will earn the company a Guinness World Record.

“Attempting to break this record was the perfect way to commemorate the 150th Derby and our
Fifth Annual celebration,” said Justin Hartman, the distillery’s owner and president. “We are excited to attempt this and bring this recognition to Buffalo while also donating to a good cause.”

The mint julep is a simple cocktail that typically combines 2 ounces of bourbon with half an ounce of simple syrup and a handful of mint leaves over crushed ice. The ratios can be tweaked to taste, but at Hartman’s, they’ll be upgraded to massive proportions.

The current world record mint julep, measured by volume, came in at 158 gallons. Hartman’s is planning to crush that mark by making a 207-gallon julep in a specialized cup more than 5 feet tall. Hartman’s said it plans to use more than 35 gallons of bourbon, 9 gallons of simple syrup, 20 pounds of mint, and several hundred pounds of crushed ice.

Hartman’s, located at 55 Chicago St., will donate $1 from every mint julep sold Saturday to the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center to help support individuals with special needs. Its Fifth Annual Kentucky Derby Day party is free to attend. Horse races will be shown from 2-7 p.m., along with live music, giveaways and other festivities.

The Kentucky Derby, the 12th of 14 races scheduled Saturday at Churchill Downs, is scheduled to begin at 6:57 p.m. ET. It will be broadcast on NBC.

Kentucky Derby horse odds

As of Friday morning

#HorseOdds1Dornoch20-12Sierra Leone3-13Mystik Dan20-14Catching Freedom8-15Catalytic30-16Just Steel20-17Honor Marie20-18Just a Touch10-19Encino20-110T O Password (JPN)30-111Forever Young (JPN)10-112Track Phantom20-113West Saratoga50-114Endlessly30-115Domestic Product30-116Grand Mo the First50-117Fierceness5-218Stronghold20-119Resilience20-120Society Man50-121Epic Ride30-1

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Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as the Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook, Twitter and Threads. See more of his work here.

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