We've Got Lillies For The Fillies

Sure, the Kentucky Derby has the Mint Julep but the Kentucky Oaks has its own cocktail and it’s called the Oaks Lilly – and we have the recipe.

By: Tiff Christie|May 1,2023

Who doesn’t love a Mint Julep, right? It’s a drink synonymous with Kentucky horse racing for nearly a hundred years. But it’s not the only cocktail that will be seen on the track this week. We bet you didn’t know that the Kentucky Oaks, held the day before the Derby, has had its own cocktail since 2006. We want to introduce you to the Oaks Lily. 


The Lillies for the fillies at the Kentucky Oaks

While the Derby allows for any eligible colt, gelding or filly to participate, the Oaks is exclusively for three-year-old fillies. So therefore, the spirit of the day is light-hearted, young and fun. The Oaks Lily Cocktail was created to reflect that and is a truly tasty libation, whether you are at the track or not. 

Brown-Forman Chief Entertaining Officer, Tim Laird, who is believed to have created the drink, has said it is based on a cosmopolitan, with a hot pink colour that mimics the Stargazer Lilies draped over the winning filly’s shoulders.

Now in case you’re interested, and for the sake of a bit of trivia, 133 lilies adorn the winner’s garland. The flowers are sewn into a white fabric backing with a fleur-de-lis pattern, then trimmed with a border of oak ivy leaves. Like the Derby’s garland of roses, the lily garland is also embroidered with Churchill’s Twin Spires, the seal of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the number of the race’s renewal.

Finlandia, the premium Finnish vodka made with Suomi barley grown under the Midnight Sun, is pleased to be announced as the Kentucky Derby’s official vodka and the Kentucky Oaks’ official drink.

To celebrate, the brand has joined forces with Tony Abou-Ganim of The Modern Mixologist and the founder of the Helen David Relief Fund at the USBG Foundation. The brand has donated $25,000 to the emergency fund that assists those in the bar industry undergoing cancer treatment and recovery.

The Fund honours the memory of the beloved Port Huron, Michigan, bar owner and community leader. After beating breast cancer twice during her lifetime, Helen remains an inspiration to those living with the disease.

Oaks Lily Recipe 


  • 1.25 oz. Finlandia
  • 1 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix
  •  .25 oz. Triple Sec
  • 3 oz. Cranberry Juice
  • Garnish with Lemon Twist and Blackberry


1 Fresh blackberry & 1 slice of Lemon


Fill a glass with ice, then add all ingredients and stir slowly. Garnish with a fresh blackberry and a slice of lemon.

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