2 bourbon-free vodka cocktails for your Kentucky Derby party

Mackensy Lunsford
Southern Kitchen

While the Mint Julep is the official cocktail of the Kentucky Derby overall, there's also an official vodka at Churchill Downs this year: Finlandia Vodka, a major sponsor of the event.

As such, Finlandia has provided two bourbon-free cocktail recipes with plenty of oomph so you can bring the spirit of Churchill Downs home.

First up is the Finlandia Oaks Lily, the official drink of the Kentucky Oaks, a race for 3-year-old fillies on May 6, the day before the Kentucky Derby.

Oaks Lily cocktail from Finlandia Vodka.

Finlandia Oaks Lily

The Oaks Lily, a cousin to the Cosmopolitan, pays homage to the lilies draped around the neck of the winning filly with its pink hue. Pink is the official Kentucky Oaks color, chosen in solidarity with the fight against breast and ovarian cancer.

Makes: 1 drink


1 1/4 ounce Finlandia Vodka

1 ounce sweet and sour mix

1/4 ounce Triple Sec

3 ounces cranberry juice

Lemon twist and blackberry for garnish


Fill a stemless wine glass with crushed ice. Add in the ingredients and stir. Garnish and enjoy.

This sessionable low-ABV sipper can take you nicely through day drinking while watching the Kentucky Derby.

Finlandia Rose Lemonade

The Finlandia Rose Lemonade features the recently launched Finlandia Botanical Wildberry and Rose, a lower-ABV vodka with berry and botanical flavors. This refreshing and sessionable sipper is simple to make at home. 

Recipe Courtesy of Finlandia Vodka Global Mixologist, Pekka Pellinen

Makes: 1 drink 


1 1/2 ounce of Finlandia Botanical Wildberry and Rose

4 ounces Lemonade

1 dash of Lime Juice

Optional: Club soda top

Garnish: Lime and assorted berries, preferably wild berries


Fill a stemless wine glass with crushed ice. Add in the ingredients and stir. Garnish and enjoy.

Mackensy Lunsford is the food and culture storyteller for USA TODAY Network's South region and the editor of Southern Kitchen.

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Reach me: mlunsford@southernkitchen.com