Hope everyone had a fantastic Easter weekend! The weather was gorgeous and I got some much-needed relaxation time with Jason and my family. Now it’s time to think about Derby.
I love Derby because it’s glamorous, bourbon-soaked, and always falls on or around my birthday (the day after my 29ththis year). I watch for the dresses and hats, the celebrities, and the singing of My Old Kentucky Home, which always give me chills! If you’re not one of the lucky ones attending Derby in person, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a festive celebration! Planning a Kentucky Derby party is much easier than you think: the theme and signature cocktails are already set.
Menu and décor inspiration for the greatest two minutes in sports:
Cocktails– the official drink of the 2014 KY Derby is the Early Times Mint Julep (recipe here). I prefer my bourbon on the rocks, but I’ll make an exception for the occasion. Another festive drink is A Late Freeze Frozen Cocktail, made with bourbon and Ale-8 (recipe here). For those of you not from the area, Ale-8 is a soft drink that tastes similar (but much better) than Ginger Ale. I don’t regularly drink soda, but Ale-8 is a gift from Heaven. If you’re not a bourbon drinker, the Grey Goose Oaks Lily (recipe here) is a good alternative.
Menu– standard Kentucky or southern fare. Last year I served country ham biscuits and cheesy grits casserole. Healthy? No. Delicious? YES. Menu suggestions (link to recipes):
Décor– there’s a lot room for creativity, but to get in the spirit, incorporate horses, red roses, mint julep cups or mason jars, and jockey silks. For inexpensive décor, buy toy horses and spray paint them gold. No one will know the difference! My favorite ideas:
Rock your hat, drink a mint julep (or five), and enjoy the first race of the Triple Crown! What are your Derby plans this year?