Four Roses and Kentucky Derby Festival Name Rose Julep Winners

Mark Corey of Silver Dollar won the social media vote with his Vanilla Chai Mint Julep.

Judges’ Choice, People’s Choice and Social Media Vote selected for best juleps in Louisville

Select Louisville-area bartenders competed at the 15th annual Four Roses Rose Julep Cocktail Competition at Mellwood Arts Center, as part of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Festival Unveiled event, on Thursday, March 15. A panel of expert judges chose the Judges’ Choice, and the public chose the People’s Choice and Social Media Vote winning juleps.

Dane Durand’s Original Recipe Mint Julep.

Mixologist Dane Durand of Proof on Main took home the Judges’ Choice award for his “Original Recipe” julep. Bartender Colleen McCarthy-Clarke of Martini Italian Bistro claimed the People’s Choice title for her julep, “Two Peas in a Pod.” Bar Chef Mark Corley of Silver Dollar won the Social Media Vote for his “Vanilla Chai Mint Julep.”

Four Roses held a preliminary judging of nearly 20 recipes submitted from area restaurants and bars in hopes of becoming one of the finalists chosen to compete at the event. The top eight finalists who qualified for this year’s competition included:

Mark Corley, The Silver Dollar
Dane Durand, Proof on Main
Amy Fisher, Meta
Drew Hutchinson, Portage House
Colleen McCarthy-Clarke, Martini Italian Bistro
Karla Plott, Down One Bourbon Bar
Keri Smith, Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar
Jason Stark, Martini Italian Bistro

The event drew more than 750 people who sampled the competitors’ cocktails and voted for the People’s Choice winner.

Colleen McCarthy-Clarke’s Two Peas in a Pod.

Official competition judges included Insider Louisville Culture Editor and Author of “The Bar Belle” blog Sara Havens, popular Bourbon Writer Steve Coomes, Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits Mixologist Joe Daily and Kentucky Derby Festival President and CEO Mike Berry. The judges scored the juleps based on aroma, creativity, taste and presentation.

For more information about the 15th annual Four Roses Rose Julep Cocktail Competition, click here.

Caroline Paulus
Caroline Paulus is the Senior Editor for The Bourbon Review. She lives and writes in Lexington, Kentucky. Follow her on Instagram @misswhiskeyhistorian to keep up with her latest in bourbon news - and a few old finds, too.