The first weekend in May means it is Kentucky Derby time! Kentucky Derby party ideas revolve around red roses, mint juleps and fascinating fascinators.
Horse racing reigns supreme in Louisville, and for nearly a century the Early Times Mint Julep has been the traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby.
Horse racing enthusiasts, socialites and celebrities will flock to Churchill Downs this Saturday to view the Run for the Roses, marvel at the traditional Kentucky Derby hats on parade, and to taste a traditional Kentucky Derby Early Times Mint Julep.
I like to pick up several nickle-plated serving trays from Dollar Tree in various styles to serve mint juleps and appetizers on. For extra Run for the Roses Derby flair, I clip several roses from front yard flower bed and place on the trays.
No real roses? No real problem.
Faux rose bush bouquets work too!
In honor of tradition and thoroughbreds, I present to you the Kentucky Derby Early Times Mint Julep recipe served proudly at Churchill Downs.
The Early Times Mint Julep
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
6-8 sprigs of fresh mint
2 ounces Early Times Kentucky Bourbon
Silver Julep Cups (optional, but highly recommended for the full Kentucky Derby traditional experience).
Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Early Times Kentucky Bourbon. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
Traditional with a twist always works!
This Jalapeño-Spiked Bourbon Julep takes first place.
The Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich, a Kentucky original recipe created in 1926 at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, is a perfect Derby Day menu choice.
This recipe from SheKnows plates turkey, bacon, Parmesan cheese, tomatoes and a heavy-handed dollop of bechamel sauce together in all its delicious, rich and Kentucky tradition glory.
Click HERE for recipe.
I’ve got four words for you.
Recipe from The Recipe Rebel found HERE.
Roses and Horseshoes + Mint Juleps = Derby Day celebration must haves. These cotton napkins from Horse and Hound Gallery are an equestrian equation of epic and proper proportion.
I like several small arrangements of cut roses vs. one large centerpiece. A combination arrangement of red and white roses perfectly fits in with the Run for the Roses motif.
I like to incorporate the traditional aspects of horse racing into my Kentucky Derby party ideas. The pair of vintage English riding boots I purchased from one of my favorite antique malls, Parkway Antique Mall in Maryville, Tennessee, have sadly been misplaced.
May is a great time of the year in retail sales to locate a pair of riding boots on sale. These Karen Scott Deliee Riding Boots will work perfect in my Kentucky Derby party ideas scheme.
Saturday’s centerpiece will become my new fall fashion boots. Now that’s getting your money’s worth. The black velvet equestrian riding helmet will tie it all together.
Horseshoes and horseshoe nut or dip bowl, Kentucky Derby themed fabrics for tablecloth and napkins, mint julep cups, spire salt and pepper shaker set, nickel plated horse bits as napkin rings, and a couple of strategically placed horse and jockey figures and you’ve got a win, place and show-stopping tablescape.
And they’re off!