The Derby City Mint Juleps will play ball in April. | Courtesy of Louisville Bats

Most people — yes, even Louisvillians — are torn when it comes to their love and appreciation of the classic mint julep cocktail.

We typically roll it out around Derby, either pretend to enjoy it or actually thoroughly enjoy it (this writer is in the latter category), and then pack it back up with all the horse-themed decorations for another year.

But the Louisville Bats are celebrating the drink most associated with the Kentucky Derby by renaming their team for two special games in April. The team will re-brand as the Derby City Mint Juleps during two home games on Saturday, April 13, and Saturday, April 27 — and of course that means new merchandise so everyone can get into the minty spirit.

The Small Batch Select comes out in April. | Courtesy of Four Roses

The Bats are partnering with Four Roses Bourbon for the occasion, and at the game on April 27, you can score $3 flights featuring Four Roses — including the brand new Small Batch Select, which is coming out in early April. The bourbon is non-chill filtered and will bottled at 104 proof, making it a perfect fit for a mint julep’s base.

There also will be a “Derby at the Diamond” vintage glass giveaway to the first 2,000 fans at that game.

If you recall, this isn’t the first time the Bats have honored the city’s bourbon heritage. Last year, they partnered with Evan Williams and became the Louisville Mashers for a few games.

So whether you fancy a mint julep or abhor them — hint: if the track is the only place you’ve tried them, do yourself a favor and order one at any of Louisville’s fine cocktail establishments — they are actually quite delicious and refreshing, and should always be bourbon-forward — at least we can celebrate them this year a bit longer than just the second Saturday in May.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."