About Kentucky Mint Julep CupsWith a history that stretches back hundreds of years, the Kentucky Mint Julep Cup can trace its origins to early American silversmiths. Their designs for cups and beakers changed as they moved across the country, and cups from many southern states have unique and distinctive styles.
In Kentucky, the classic American beaker was remade into our own Julep Cup with straight body lines and graceful moldings at the base and rim by the early craftsmen Asa Blanchard of Lexington and William and Archibald Cooper of Louisville.
Popular throughout the early South, the Julep Cup has long been a symbol of achievement, esteem and prestige. For over 200 years Kentuckians have given, received, and used their julep cup at events like christenings, weddings, fairs and of course, the races.
If you look at the various julep cups shown here, although many are quite similar — sometimes varying only in the material used — there are often subtle differences: fine beadwork along the rim, the shape and curves of the distinctive stairstepped base, etc.
Each cup reflects the history of Kentucky and the artists and craftsmen that preceded us.
About Kentucky Derby Mint Julep GlassesWhile the concept of serving mint juleps was not new, the development of the Mint Julep Glass came later.
Many people think that Kentucky Derby Mint Julep glasses started in 1938, but although the confusion is understandable, they did not. What happened in 1938 is that instead of serving their mint juleps in paper cups, Churchill Downs served them in tall water glasses and people kept stealing them!
So the following year in 1939 Churchill Downs created a promotional piece — the birth of the Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Glass — that people could purchase and keep as a souvenir of their visit to the Kentucky Derby.
Over the years mint julep glasses have gone through many designs and styles. We regularly stock glasses back to 1975, but if you are looking for a particular year just give us a call at 800-444-0552 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will be glad to help you!