The winners of the 15th annual Four Roses Rose Julep Cocktail Competition, part of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Festival Unveiled event, were chosen by a panel of expert judges (Judges’ Choice), and the public (People’s Choice and Social Media Vote) at Mellwood Arts Center on Thursday, March 15 .

PeoplesChoice_TwoPeasInAPod2Mixologist 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” (pictured in header image, courtesy of Four Roses). 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 eight finalists chosen to compete at the event. The event drew more than 750 people who sampled the competitors’ cocktails and voted for the People’s Choice winner.

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.

Photography courtesy of Four Roses.