Last year Bobby Flay was here for the Derby and I remember him having his own version of the mint julep that he was actually selling at Churchill Downs the day of the Derby. He was a preDerby host of a few events and his julep has a black berry twist to it.
Of course, the traditional mint julep is also popular because of the famous Kentucky Bourbon that is used in it. Here is a bit of the history about the drink. We are NOT alcohol drinkers, so this is a non alcohol version that would be great for all family members. It comes from a book (one that I love and use for parties) Drinks Without Alcohol by Jane Brandt
4 or 5 mint sprigs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups cold water
3/4 cup lemon juice, fresh
1 1/2 quart ginger ale
Wafer - thin lemon slices for garnish
Rinse mint and remove stems. Place sugar, water and lemon juice in a bowl, mix and then stir in mint leaves. Allow to stand for 30 minutes. Fill large pitcher with ice cubs, and strain liquid over the ice. Add ginger ale and lemon slices and serve.
And, here's a version at Family Fun that is pretty similar.