Oaks Lilly Punch with cranberry, lemonade, blackberries, vodka, orange liquer

Lusty Lilly (a Kentucky Derby inspired cocktail)

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**Updated 3/2024

Lusty Lilly: a Kentucky Derby inspired cocktail

You may have heard of the signature drink, the Mint Julep, and perhaps even some Bourbon punches for the Kentucky Debry. The official cocktail of the Oaks Derby (the day before the Derby) is the Kentucky Oaks Lily. 

Our Lusty Lilly, is a Kentucky Derby inspired drink that you will love – a brightly colored, fruity and tart libation, which takes just a few minutes to combine. 

Whether you enjoy this cocktail on a regular day, a Kentucky Derby Party, or suit up in pink  and sip to the Oaks Derby fillies- you will love this refreshing batch cocktail. 


Ingredients for the Lusty Lilly

A Kentucky Derby Inspired Cocktail

  • Cranberry Juice
  • Lemonade
  • Triple Sec or Cointreau
  • Vodka
  • Blackberries
  • Lemons
  • Pitcher


Oaks Lilly Punch with cranberry, lemonade, blackberries, vodka, orange liquer



According to Liquor.com :

“The Kentucky Oaks takes place at Churchill Downs the day before the Kentucky Derby. Rather than simply doubling up on juleps, the race serves its own signature cocktail to attendees. The light, refreshing drink takes its inspiration from the Cosmopolitan and features vodka, orange liqueur, cranberry juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup. So, it’s everything you want on a warm day.

The cocktail’s pink hue is a nod to the garland of stargazer lilies placed on the race’s winning filly, as well as the race’s association with breast cancer awareness. To support the cause, attendees often don pink attire, from suits and dresses to elaborate hats, and selflessly order Oaks Lillies throughout the day.”

Shut up liver meme


Lusty Lilly

A Kentucky Derby Inspired Cocktail

In the Cuss Kitchen® version of this classic drink, we make it a bitch, I mean BATCH style drink.  We also opted for our new favorite vodka, 5 Sisters.  5 Sisters Spirit Vodka is locally distilled in Florida and includes a secret ingredient that they import from Ireland. 

The Lusty Lilly cocktail is a great addition to our Cuss Kitchen® Kentucky Derby Party – The Lusty Lilly is a perfect compliment to Bitchin’ Barb’s Hot Brown Casserole!


What about the Kentucky Derby Thoroughbreds for 2024?

The Kentucky Derby is restricted to 3 year-old race horses-  and are only eligible once in their lives.  The horses must be nominated to the Triple Crown and then score enough points to be eligible for the Kentucky Derby.



What are 10 of the most interesting traditions of the Kentucky Derby?


With 145 years of history,  Kentucky pride, Bourbon, Horse betting and a splash of superstition – you get plenty of traditions that surround the Kentucky Derby.  Derby socialites or newcomers, everyone partakes in at least some of the beloved traditions.  Luck favors the prepared!   Here are the best traditions to know before the Kentucky Derby.

  • The date: No one has to ask, ‘When is the Kentucky Derby?’ Since the 1930s, the Derby has been held on the first Saturday in May. No other major sporting event is so closely associated with a particular day and month as the Derby.   That Saturday truly belongs to the ‘Greatest Two Minutes in Sports.’
  • Pink Friday at the Oaks:  A favorite pre-Derby event is the Kentucky Oaks.  This race is run the day before the Derby. The dress code for this event is specific—everyone wears pink. You can embrace the tradition with a bow, hat or necktie, or be fully committed with a full pink dress or suit.  The tradition is a nod to the horses of the race.  The Oaks is a race for three-year fillies (female horses).  Importantly, let’s not forget the official cocktail- The Kentucky Oaks Lily Cocktail recipe – or the Lusty Lilly – a Kentucky Derby inspired cocktail

Racing Horses with brightly colored jockeys


More Traditions

  • The hats:  One of the only places in the U.S. where such outlandish hats fit in. The tradition of ornate hats and fashion date back to founder Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr.  Clark had a vision to make the Derby a place for America’s high class to attend.  The men wore nice suits, and the women wore fancy dresses.  The hats were associated with good luck- so the larger the hat or ‘Fascinator’ – the more luck.  The race quickly evolved into a showcase of the current fashion trends of the Spring.  The introduction of Kentucky Derby on TV in the 1960s gave women an added reason to stand out, increasing the size and originality of their fashion.
  • The song:  ‘My Old Kentucky Home.’ Stephen Foster’s 19th century ballad, has been a tradition at the Derby since 1921.   It is played by the University of Louisville Marching band with a chorus of Tens of thousands of fans singing along.  The song accompanies the horses as they are led to the starting gate, and is an immense source of pride for Kentuckians
  • The garland: The Kentucky Derby was long ago dubbed ‘The Run for the Roses.’ More than 400 of the red flowers are sewn into green satin .  After the race, the garland is draped around the neck of the winning horse .  The rose was made the official flower of the Kentucky Derby in 1904. 

What are tips for Making Cocktails for a Party?

  1. Simplify.   Rather than making multiple cocktails, chose a signature cocktail that will create a delicious experience for your guests.
  2. Prepare a batch mixture of your cocktail ahead of time and chill.  Your guests can immediately receive a cocktail at the perfect temperature.
  3. Prepare your cocktail glasses ahead of time.  Whether a Martini glass or cocktail glass, you can have your glasses chilled, and garnished.  Garnish with a lime wheel,  or rim the glass with graham cracker crumbs (as in this recipe), or a more creative flourish- prepare ahead
  4. Set up your Bar or Self-serve Beverage Station.  .  Just before the party you can pull out your ice bucket, your garnished glasses, and even pour a few cocktails for your first guests.  Remember to have a picture of water, and some non-alcoholic options such as sparkling water, juice or sodas.
  5. Be in the moment- Your friends want to see and enjoy you!


Make the Lusty Lilly

a Kentucky Derby Inspired Cocktail 


Oaks Lilly Punch with cranberry, lemonade, blackberries, vodka, orange liquer
5 from 81 votes

Lusty Lilly

Adaption of the Oaks Lily cocktail, made famous during Kentucky Derby Weekend. This punch features 5 Sisters Vodka.
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: blackberries, cranberry, Kentucky Derby, Lemonade, lusty lilly, orange liqueur, punch, Vodka
Yield: 8
Calories: 256kcal
Author: Bitchin' Barb


  • 24 oz Cranberry Juice
  • 8 oz Lemonade (like minute maid)
  • 8 oz Triple Sec or Cointreau
  • 10 oz Vodka (we used 5 Sisters)
  • 1 pint Blackberries (garnish)
  • 2 Lemons (sliced - garnish)


  • Combine cranberry, lemonade, orange liqueur, and vodka in a pitcher
  • Serve over ice, and garnish with blackberries and a lemon slice.


The use of prepared lemonade eliminates the need for simple syrup.  We actually used "diet" or light lemonade and there was no degrading of taste.


Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 207mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 171IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg

You will love our 

Kentucky Derby inspired cocktail

Lusty Lilly

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7 Responses

  1. Made a batch for Mom’s Happy Hour. Everyone loved them. Maybe too much?
    Ha! Will make again

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