While the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is a collection of distilleries around the state, the Urban Bourbon Trail® (UBT) is very different. Mint Julep gets a lot of inquiries from travelers who think that the Urban Bourbon Trail® includes Louisville distilleries. Instead, the UBT is a group of bars and restaurants dedicated to serving bourbon and elevating the bourbon experience. Each stop has at very least 50 bourbons behind the bar, some with nearly 200!
Like the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a passport is involved. Pick up your Urban Bourbon® passport at any of the stops below. Unlike the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, though, you don’t need to go to them all. Bourbon lovers earn a t-shirt after successfully visiting 6 destinations and ordering a bourbon cocktail. Your prize can be collected at the Visitor’s Center downtown (at 4th and Jefferson St.) or by mail.
The Urban Bourbon Trail® was founded in 2008 with five locally-owned and operated members including The Bar at Blu, Brown Hotel Lobby Bar, The Old Seelbach Bar and Proof on Main.
Urban Bourbon Trail® Stops By Neighborhood
8-Up Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen
The Bar at Blu
Brendon’s Catch 23
Bristol Bar & Grille – Downtown
The Brown Hotel Lobby Bar
Corner Restaurant & Bar
Dish on Market
Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar
Down One Bourbon Bar & Restaurant
Jockey Silks Bourbon Bar
Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen
The Old Seelbach Bar
O’Shea’s – Downtown
Proof on Main
Sidebar at Whiskey Row
Sway at the Hyatt Regency
Troll Pub Under the Bridge
Popular Louisville Cocktails
The Old Fashioned
Traditionally made with bourbon, simple syrup and bitters, this is a classic. It’s also the Official Cocktail of Louisville! Some places will muddle a cherry or orange in the glass, others garnish simply with orange or lemon zest.
The Mint Julep
Made with crushed ice, simple syrup, bourbon and fresh mint, this Southern favorite, and our namesake, has been a Kentucky Derby staple for many years. April has been deemed Mint Julep Month in Louisville to celebrate.
More Urban Bourbon®
The Urban Bourbon® Half Marathon
Another point of confusion comes with the Urban Bourbon® Half Marathon. Held in October each year, this Louisville race embraces the spirit of the city, but doesn’t actually visit bars or distilleries. Following the race, runners and fans celebrate at a bourbon-themed party which includes bourbon tastings from Kentucky distilleries and snacks. Runners can also show their finisher’s medal at select Urban Bourbon Trail establishments for special discounts and prizes.
Ben & Jerry’s Urban Bourbon® Ice Cream
It’s in no way related to Louisville, but Ben & Jerry’s Urban Bourbon® ice cream may be a great addition to your Kentucky trip. It’s made with burnt caramel ice cream, almonds, fudge flakes and bourbon caramel swirls.
About the Author – Rachel Goldenberg
Rachel Goldenberg has been Director of Marketing at Mint Julep since 2017. Her extensive bourbon education includes becoming an Executive Bourbon Steward through the Stave & Thief Society and graduating from Woodford Reserve’s Bourbon Academy. She is a Certified Tourism Ambassador and enthusiastic advocate for her adopted hometown of Louisville. When she’s not promoting Mint Julep’s portfolio of southern experiences, she can be found walking her dog or enjoying a drink on a Germantown patio.