(WHNT) – It’s Derby Day! The 2023 Kentucky Derby is officially here and along with it comes a world-famous cocktail, the Mint Julep.

Mint Julep has been a long-standing tradition at the Kentucky Derby, but where did the cocktail originate?

The drink consists of mint, bourbon, simple syrup and bitters, but the word julep originates from the Arabic word “gulab” which means rose water.

In the 1700s, the primary application for the drink was medicinal. Consuming the drink for pleasure rose in popularity when Kentucky senator Henry Clay introduced it at a Washington D.C. bar in 1850.

The drink became very popular at horse racing events and in 1938 the drink became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. It even got a mention in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book The Great Gatsby.

According to Derby officials, almost 120,000 Mint Juleps are consumed during the two-day Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby event.

This year’s Kentucky Derby begins at 11:30 a.m. with the main event expected to start at 5:30 p.m.

If you would like to enjoy a Mint Julep while watching this year’s Kentucky Derby, you can find a recipe for the cocktail here.

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