Monday, May 16, 2016

Talk Derby to Me, Again

It has been dubbed the most exciting two minutes in sports, and it happens every year on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. The Kentucky Derby, is horseracing’s most beloved event and is steeped in 142 years of tradition - handsome horses, colorful silks, fancy hats, bourbon, roses and mouthwatering southern food - all create the Derby experience.

But you don’t have to make the trip to Louisville to enjoy the race. Celebrate the occasion at home in true Derby style with these essentials:

The Hat - is the pièce de résistance to your party attire, and the bigger it is the better. Create your own from a simple beach bonnet. Adorn with a big, colorful ribbon and attach large silk flowers with a hot glue gun.

The Décor - take your cue from the Derby’s moniker, Run for the Roses. Arrange red roses in silver trophy or julep cups.

The Race - so you think you’ve got what it takes to pick the winner, visit to place your bet from home.

The Beverage - the Mint Julep is the iconic drink of the Kentucky Derby, consisting of bourbon and a simple mint syrup served over ice. 

For those who are not bourbon drinkers, try my fruity, vodka-based Mint Rulep at the end of this post.  

The Fare - think Southern-inspired foods like country ham and biscuits, cheesy grits, beef brisket, and bourbon-chocolate pecan pie.

The Mint Rulep - mix up a pitcher or two an hour or so ahead of time, chill and you’ll be ready to pour when guests arrive. 
1 cup vodka
1 ½ cups pomegranate juice
1 ½ cups ruby red juice
3 cups cranberry juice
Fresh mint sprigs for garnish

In a large pitcher, combine vodka and juices. Serve in individual glasses over ice. Garnish with mint sprigs. 

On to the Preakness and Belmont Stakes!

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