I LOVE the Kentucky Derby...not as much as I love hockey (GO RANGERS!!)...but it's a close second. You don't actually have to be at Churchill Downs to enjoy the Derby...you can host your own Kentucky Derby Viewing Party!!
Every great party has great food and drink. When it comes to the Kentucky Derby, Mint Juleps are the drink of choice. You can find various recipes for this drink, but I had a wonderful woman (Pat, who stays in the same Florida condo complex as my grandmother) from Kentucky share her recipe with me. The key is that she makes her own syrup.
You will need:
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- Fresh mint leaves
- Boil sugar and water for five minutes
- Cool and add mint leaves
- Cover and refrigerate overnight
- Pour 2oz of Bourbon over ice
- Add 1oz of mint syrup to glass
- Garnish with mint, if desired
- I usually add 6 or 7 mint leaves to my syrup mix
- While you can use any kind of Bourbon, it's best to use Kentucky Bourbon
- If you don't have time to make your own syrup, you can buy simple syrup or mint julep flavouring
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What about food?
Stick to the basics and think finger foods; cold seafood, tea sandwiches, salads and dips. Or you can do a southern BBQ; ribs, corn on the cob, biscuits. Whether you go for something a bit fancier or more casual, chocolate bourbon pecan pie makes a great dessert option.
In my family, we always serve Lobster Coquille at our Derby Party. Baked brie (or cheese platter), fruit salad and shrimp anything are also popular options.
There are so many options when it comes to Derby food and even drinks- if Mint Juleps are not your thing. I'm sure by searching Google or Pinterest, you'll find tons of ideas.
Next week I'll be sharing decor and entertainment ideas!