Kentucky Oaks Lily Cocktail

There’s more than one drink in town for the Derby…the Kentucky Oaks Lily Cocktail from Grey Goose is the cocktail of choice served at the Kentucky Oaks Race on the day before the Derby.

Grey Goose Kentucky Oaks Lily Cocktails on a Silver Serving Tray
This coming weekend is a tough one for a food blogger. Deciding whether to feature something for the Kentucky Derby, Cinco de Mayo, or Mother’s Day is a tough choice. This year the Kentucky Oaks Lily wins top mention.

The most thrilling five minutes in sports is on Saturday, May 7th at the 142nd Kentucky Derby races. Each year, the most extraordinary horses, trainers, and jockeys in horse racing will converge at Churchill Downs for the most prestigious event of the year.

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I throw what might be the shortest party in existence asking neighbors to drop in a few minutes early and share a cocktail while we watch the race.

There is no betting, no food, no big imbibing…just a short break in what is typically a chore day for all of us.

Kentucky Oaks Race
Race Image Courtesy Kentucky Oaks 2015

Not that I don’t love Cinco de Mayo and in Denver it’s huge, but the truth is that we can find Mexican influences and food here on a regular basis so I don’t feel driven to make something special.

Mother’s Day? I AM the mother and I’m not cooking…even if my children are grown and living out of state, that still holds true.

I remember the time my oldest came over with the salad ingredients to add to a dinner she expected me to make. WHAT? On what planet right? That did not end well. 🙂

I’ve enjoyed working with some of the sponsors who make signature drinks for the race like this Kentucky Oaks Lily from Grey Goose vodka.

Over the years I’ve made my share of Mint Juleps and this year I won’t disappoint. I’ve got something cooking with roasted fruit and brown sugar.

GREY GOOSE Kentucky Oaks Lily with Bottle of Grey Goose Vodka

But first, Grey Goose is returning for the 12th year as an official partner of Churchill Downs. In keeping with the Kentucky Derby tradition that started in 2006, Grey Goose will feature the Grey Goose Kentucky Oaks Lily cocktail, the official cocktail of the Kentucky Oaks races, which take place on Friday at Churchill Downs.

This signature cocktail, served in a commemorative glass, is a Derby fan-favorite, outselling the famed Mint Julep on Friday at the races, year after year.

If you’re going to the race, The Grey Goose Oaks Lily will be available on the red carpet and for purchase at racetrack concessions and VIP areas throughout the races and a portion of the proceeds from the sales of The Grey Goose Oaks Lily benefits Horses and Hope.

I made a pitcher of these Kentucky Oaks Lily cocktails and in doing so tweaked the recipe just a bit; they suggested pouring the ingredients into glasses in order and then stirring them at the end. I couldn’t imagine that it would be that much different if I just poured everything together and mixed it before pouring into ice filled glasses so that’s how we rolled.

For one or two drinks, the original would work fine but I wanted a cocktail I could make a pitcher of and just hand out drinks as friends arrived so I’ve changed the recipe accordingly.

GREY GOOSE Kentucky Oaks Lily with Lemon and Blackberry Garnish

Over the almost 5 years that I’ve been sharing drinks for Friday Cocktails, I’ve read thousands of recipes. Some might sound interesting but require too much fuss and too many ingredients to really work for me…or you…in the real world.

Then sometimes I am provided with a recipe that is simple enough and has very regular ingredients and am blown away by the first sip. This Kentucky Oaks Lily from Grey Goose is one of those.

The sweet/tart combination with vodka and lemon might remind you a bit of a Cosmopolitan but this cocktail has more cranberry juice which combined with lemon and orange liqueur was so good I had to stop sipping before I canceled getting this post completed. It’s true!

Perfect for the races sure, but trust me; this one is so easy and so very good that it’s perfect all summer long. You MUST try it! Cheers!

PIN IT! ‘Grey Goose Kentucky Oaks Lily’

Two Glasses of a Kentucky Oaks Lily Garnished with Lemon Slice and Blackberry
Kentucky Oaks Lily with Grey Goose Vodka
Kentucky Oaks Lily Served on a Silver Tray

Kentucky Oaks Lily from Grey Goose

The Signature Cocktail for the running of the Oaks at Churchill Downs, this Grey Goose Kentucky Oaks Lily is a favorite summer cocktails!
4 from 50 or more votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Vodka
Cuisine American
Servings 2 Cocktails
Calories 156 kcal


  • 2 ounces Grey Goose Vodka
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce Orange Liqueur
  • 4 ounces Cranberry Juice

For Garnish

  • Lemon slices and fresh blackberries


  • Mix ingredients together and stir; refrigerate at least one hour.
  • Fill chilled glasses with ice to slightly above the rim; pour mixture into ice filled glasses.
  • Garnish with a slice of lemon and a fresh blackberry.


Ever read a recipe that calls for simple syrup and wish you had known earlier; making it and chilling it to use in a cocktail can stop some from bothering at all.
So try my quick fix. Mix one cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan. Heat on medium heat until sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture into a heat safe measuring cup and add a cup of ice (unless you’re using crushed ice, then only add 1/2 cup). Stir until ice has melted and use right away!


Nutrition Facts
Kentucky Oaks Lily from Grey Goose
Serving Size
1 Cocktail
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Kentucky Derby, kentucky oaks lily, vodka
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. Is there a way to make this a “mocktail?” I’m planning a Kentucky Derby party for widows at my church. Don’t think serving cocktails would be appreciated! 😂

  2. Thank you for sharing your Kentucky Oaks Lily cocktail recipe! Your Kentucky Oaks Lily sounds delightful and perfect for a Kentucky Derby celebration or any special occasion.

    I love how you’ve included the backstory of the cocktail and its connection to the Kentucky Oaks race. It’s always fascinating to learn about the origins and traditions behind a drink. Your detailed instructions and ingredient list make it easy for readers to recreate the cocktail at home.

    The combination of vodka, cranberry juice, triple sec, and lemon juice, topped with a splash of club soda, sounds refreshing and balanced. The addition of a blackberry garnish adds a touch of elegance and a pop of color to the cocktail. I can imagine sipping on a Kentucky Oaks Lily while watching the race or enjoying a sunny afternoon with friends.

    Your website is a treasure trove of culinary delights, and I appreciate the variety of recipes and resources you provide. I’m sure many cocktail enthusiasts and home bartenders will find your Kentucky Oaks Lily recipe inspiring and worth trying.

    Thank you again for sharing this fantastic cocktail recipe. Keep up the excellent work, and I look forward to exploring more of your content in the future!

  3. I was reading somewhere recently that horse racing and boxing are the “original” American sports. Had never thought of either of those in that light before, but the idea makes sense. Particularly horse racing — people have always raced horses — and bet on the outcome. Anyway, great drink! Lovely color, and nice and refreshing. Thanks!

    1. I’ll take horse racing over the other; boxing is just brutal and senseless if you ask me. Racing is beautiful to watch and while horses are meant to run, I just don’t think men are necessarily meant to pummel each other senseless for entertainment. Not that I feel strongly about it. 🙂

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