Don’t Just Drink Any Mint Julep on Kentucky Derby Day

”Godfather of Cocktails” Vincenzo Marianella’s Bernheim Bugle sweetens the deal at The Independence, and you can make it at home too

If you’re going to drink a themed cocktail while you watch the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, you could do a lot worse than one created by Godfather of Cocktails Vincenzo Marianella at The Independence. The new Santa Monica tavern will be serving its Bernheim Bugle, a mint julep variation that guests can order for $12 while they watch the horse race on the bar’s flat-screen TVs.

The Independence uses Bernheim whiskey because executive chef Tom Block’s great-great-grandfather Isaac Wolfe Bernheim created the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1897. The wheat whiskey, with its sweet flavors and aromas, has a softer taste than bourbon.

If you’d rather watch the Derby while drinking well at home, here’s Marianella’s recipe.

Bernheim Bugle


  • 10 to 15 mint leaves
  • 2 oz Bernheim whiskey
  • 3/4 oz apricot liqueur 
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz house simple syrup
  • 3 to 4 dashes Curtis smoked banana bitters
  • 3/4 oz organic apple juice


  • Shake and strain over crushed ice in a highball glass
  • Garnish with mint sprig and apple fan