Preparing for your Kentucky Derby Party

The Kentucky Derby 2012 is not sold out quite yet but tickets cost a hefty sum. Enjoy the derby in the comfort of your home by re-creating some of the famous traditions, food and beverage of the Kentucky Derby.


First on the list of “must haves” for your Derby party is the Mint Julep. This sugary beverage has long been associated with Southern Cuisine but most especially with Kentucky and the Derby. The standard Mint Julep is bourbon, sugar, water and mint leaf over the rocks. Traditionally spearmint is the mint leaf of choice in the South and the Kentucky Derby. Best served in a pewter cup or glass to maintain the drink’s crisp and cool flavor. As the Mint Julep is described as a ritual rather than a formula so too is the traditional derby food a key part of the Kentucky Derby experience.

Burgoo, Hot Brown sandwich and Benedictine. Some of these you’ll never have heard of if you aren’t from the South but would expect to consume one or more of these if you are at the derby. The Burgoo is like a shepherds pie in soup form. Some versions err on the side of being thick enough to stand a utensil in and others have a thinner base. Whatever style of recipe you choose make sure to load it with many different kinds of meat and serve with BBQ sauce. The Hot Brown sandwich is two slices of bread, roasted turkey, tomatoes, bacon slices and cheese sauce. There are several versions of the cheese sauce out there but I think it tastes best with a cheddar or swiss based sauce. Benedictine sandwiches have been coming back into style with their quick prep, fresh flavor and healthful recipe alternatives. Sliced cucumbers over ¬†cream cheese with grated onion, mayonnaise and salt can act as both a dip and a sandwich.


Now that you’re set on food and drink for your Kentucky Derby party make some fun fashion choices by wearing a derby hat. Not just for women, Kentucky Derby hats can range from exquisitely designed with feathers, bows and flowers to humorously decorated with figurines, signs and colorful streamers.


Whether your taste in parties runs serious to silly the Kentucky Derby is “the two most exciting minutes in sports” which leaves all of before and after to have a good time with your friends and family. Don’t miss out on fun project opportunities like making your own derby hats or creating variations on your mint juleps!

Published On Mar 19, 2012