Bartenders who put their own winning stamp on the Mint Julep will be properly compensated. (photo courtesy of the brand)

The good folks at Four Roses have had a good idea—both powerful and elegant in its simplicity.

To support bartenders all over the nation, the whiskey maker has created the Rose Julep Virtual Challenge, proceeds of which will support the United States Bartenders’ Guild Foundation’s Bartender Emergency Assistance Program (BEAP). 

There are many worthwhile efforts underway to support the beverage and hospitality industries, and we’ll continue to cover them. But this one is really fun.

I have been thinking about bourbon anyway, as this Saturday will be the first Saturday in May, a time when I try to remember how to make simple syrup, and reach into my closet and hope I can still squeeze into my seersucker jacket. (Note to fellow quarantined-and-constantly-cooking-eating-and-cocktail-making readers: it’s a safe bet I am not gonna make it this year.)

But enough about me.

For the challenge, bartenders and mixologists around the country will film how-to-make-a-special-julep videos that the brand will share on social media. Julep fans like me can then try the recipes at home, and virtually tip our bartenders for the inspiration.

Four Roses will divide the tips equally among participating mixologists and, up to $25,000, match the tip total with a donation to BEAP. (It’s worth pointing out, too, that the company has previously given support.)

See? Like the drink itself—powerful, elegant, and simple.

There are more details here. And below, verbatim, are the rules. 


We’re asking bartenders and mixologists to submit a video of themselves handcrafting a Rose Julep cocktail—a creative julep that includes Four Roses Bourbon, Four Roses Small Batch or Four Roses Single Barrel, and their own unique twists. If mint’s not handy, we welcome any cocktail recipe that embodies the Derby spirit of spring, hope and hospitality.

• Cocktail must include Four Roses Bourbon, Four Roses Small Batch or Four Roses Single Barrel

• Please use ingredients that people may have at home, or provide substitutions for hard-to-find ingredients

Video required for entry:

• No longer than 5 mins

• Shot in landscape (horizontal)

• Natural lighting (in front of face)

• iPhone setting:

[ Settings > Photo/Camera > Record Video > 1080p (60 frames) ]

Please send video and a completed W-9 form to

Alert your favorite bartender!