The Official Drink of the 132nd Kentucky Derby Early Times Mint Julep Cocktail is a ready-to-serve beverage that has been the "The Official Mint Julep of the Kentucky DerbyŽ" for years. Churchill Downs serves more than 80,000 Early Times Mint Julep Cocktails every Kentucky Derby week, using about 8,000 Liters of Early Times Mint Julep Ready-To-Serve Cocktail, 2200 pounds of freshly harvested mint, and 80 tons of shaved ice. Try one and you'll understand why we've been a Kentucky DerbyŽ tradition for over 16 years. The Mint Julep has always been a symbol of Kentucky's rich heritage and hospitality. Perhaps General Simon Bolivar Buckner put it best when he wrote from the South Pacific during World War II: "A Mint Julep is not the product of a formula. It is a ceremony that must be performed by one possessing a true sense of the artistic, a deep reverence for the ingredients and a proper appreciation of the occasion." Many Kentuckians claim that when a Julep is done right, you can hear the angels sing. One 19th-century jurist is said to have ruled, "Who has not tasted one has lived in vain." Then again, newspaper editor Henry Watterson's recipe for the perfect Mint Julep is somewhat different, his recipe: "?throw the other ingredients away and drink the whisky - straight."