Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a private cocktail class at the Jeptha Creed Distillery in Shelbyville, Kentucky, which is located only 45 minutes away from Lexington. It’s easily seen off of I-64 and is off Exit 32 in Shelbyville. There I got to learn how to make two of Jeptha Creed’s signature cocktails, the Bluegrass Belle and the Elderflower Sunrise.
Most people know of my love of bourbon and bourbon cocktails. The only experience I’ve had making cocktails was at my house and my drinks of choice were the classic bourbon and coke or the Kentucky Mule. I have never used the tools that bartenders use. I always eyeballed the ingredients when making my drinks, so I was super interested in learning about different spirits and making my own cocktail using a signature recipe.
Jeptha Creed is a craft distillery specializing in bourbon, whiskey, vodka, and moonshine. This distillery is owned and operated by mother and daughter duo Joyce and Autumn Nethery. Jeptha Creed sits on 64 acres of land, where they grow the Bloody Butcher Corn that is used in all of their products. The corn is open-pollinated, non-GMO and the family has been growing it ever since 1845. All ingredients are locally grown and sourced whenever possible. The property is covered in crops that produce the grain, corn, fruits, and other ingredients that go into the vodka, whiskey, and moonshine. There are also apples, pears, pecans, apricots, cherries, raspberries, figs, kiwi, blackberries, blueberries, mint, spearmint, strawberries, basil, and beehives for honey on the property.
Jeptha Creed is a beautiful 15,500-square-foot distillery and visitors’ center. The staff is friendly and the bartenders are really knowledgeable and made the class super fun. If you ever get the chance to stop by and tour the distillery or just have a cocktail at the bar, then you definitely should!
The Netherys own and operate a dairy and grain farm on the edge of the Jeptha Knob in Shelby County, which is about 6 miles from the site of the distillery. This is where part of the name of the distillery comes from. Come to find out that the knob was named by Squire and Daniel Boone in the late 1700s after the biblical warrior, Jephthah.
During the class, I got to make two cocktails; the Bluegrass Belle and the Elderflower Sunrise. These two cocktails are perfect for the summertime and are simply refreshing! The Bluegrass Belle has now become my new favorite cocktail! It was developed in partnership with the Kentucky Derby Festival. The Bluegrass Belle is made with Jeptha Creed Blueberry Vodka, simple syrup, mint, lime juice, sprite, and garnished with a mint spring.
How to Make the Bluegrass Belle:
- 2 oz Jeptha Creed Blueberry Flavored Vodka
- 1 oz Simple Syrup
- juice from 1/2 lime
- Mint leaves
- First, put the mint into the shaker.
- Add 2 oz Jeptha Creed Blueberry Flavored Vodka into the shaker. Be sure to use a jigger for precise measurement.
- Add 1 oz Simple Syrup and juice from half of a lime. Use a squeezer to make sure you get the most juice out of it as possible.
- Muddle it.
- Put ice into shaker.
- Strain into Tom Collins class with ice.
- Top glass with Sprite.
- Garnish with mint spring.
Get your passport stamped: The Bluegrass Belle can be found at Edley’s B-Que located at The Summit at Fritz Farm.
The second cocktail we made was the Elderflower Sunrise. It is made with Jeptha Creed Original Vodka, basil, lemon, St. Germain, simple syrup, grapefruit bitters, and it’s also garnished with a basil leaf.
How to Make the Elderflower Sunrise:
- 2 oz Jeptha Creed Original Vodka
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 oz St Germain
- 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
- Five drops Grapefruit Bitters
- Put basil and 2 oz Jeptha Creed Original Vodka into shaker.
- Muddle together.
- Put juice from 1/2 lemon (use a squeezer to make it easier),1/2 oz Simple Syrup, 1/2 oz St Germain, and five drops grapefruit bitters into shaker.
- Strain over ice into rocks glass.
- Garnish with basil leaf.
Get your passport stamped: The Elderflower Sunrise can be found at La Cocina de Mama located at 535 Main Street, Shelbyville, Kentucky and at 2809 North Hurstbourne Parkway, Louisville, Kentucky.
Jeptha Creed is the official vodka of the 2018 Kentucky Derby Festival. The Kentucky Derby Festival is a month-long celebration with events for all kinds of people and all ages leading up to Derby Day.
Jeptha Creed will be at various events throughout the festival including the Derby Festival Spring Fashion Show, Hole-In-One Contest, They’re Off Luncheon, Kroger’s Fest-a-ville, Race Expo and Packet Pick-up, and Celebrity Day at the Downs. Jeptha Creed will also be available for purchase at Thunder Over Louisville on April 21 and Kroger’s Fest-a-ville at the Chow Wagon On April 27 through May 4.
Jeptha Creed also has a Cocktail Passport where you can try a Jeptha Creed speciality cocktail. There are 17 participating bars (with the majority located in Lexington or Louisville). You can collect stamps from at least 6 different participating bars and receive a prize (a free tour and special commemorative glass). To claim your prize, bring your passport to Jeptha Creed Distillery in Shelbyville.
500 Gordon Lane
Shelbyville, Kentucky 40065
Tours and Tasting:
Adult Price: $10.00; Child Price: (ages 12-20): $8.00; Children under 12 are free.
Duration: 45 minutes to 1 hour
January through March:
Thursday: 12pm to 5pm. Last tour at 4pm.
Friday & Saturday: 12pm to 6pm on the hour. Last tour at 5pm.
Sunday: 12pm to 5pm. Last tour at 4pm.
April through December:
Tuesday through Saturday: 11am to 6pm on the hour. Last tour at 5pm.
Sunday: 12pm to 5pm. Last tour at 4pm.
*Jeptha Creed Distillery will be closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
Visit the Bar at Jeptha Creed:
Tuesday through Thursday: 11am – 6pm.
Friday & Saturday: 11am to 10pm.
Sunday: 12pm to 5pm.
Lunch served from opening to 4pm.
*Jeptha Creed Distillery will be closed Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Even if you don’t have time for a tour, you can still stop by the bar for a drink! Jeptha Creed uses fresh, farm grown ingredients to make their cocktails, so their menu changes seasonally.
Something really cool Jeptha Creed does is that every Friday night is that they have live music, a food truck, and craft cocktails available at the bar. Music is from 6pm to 9pm. Dinner is available from 5pm to 9pm. The bar is open until 10pm. You can see the schedule with the bands: HERE.
Take the drive to Shelbyville and see for yourself. I promise you won’t regret it!