Kentucky Derby Party Essentials

The Kentucky Derby is one of the shortest sporting events--and also one of the most exciting! Just because the event itself isn't long, doesn't mean you can't celebrate all day! Here are our tips for having the perfect Derby Day soiree.

How to Have the Perfect Kentucky Derby Party

1. Serve a Mint Julep.

The signature cocktail of the Kentucky Derby is light, refreshing, and pretty as a picture when served in the traditional silver mint julep cup. We use our silver julep cups for fresh cut flowers on our desk when it's not quite cocktail time. 

Never made a Mint Julep before? The Capital Hotel Bar & Grill lets you in on the classic recipe:

Mint Julep
(courtesy Capital Hotel Bar & Grill)


- mint sprigs
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 2 ounces bourbon
- crushed ice

Middle two mint sprigs in 1 ounce simple syrup. Add 2 ounces bourbon. Pour over crushed ice into julep cup. Garnish with fresh mint.

Looking for a twist on the standard Mint Julep recipe? Try the Rosemary Lemonade Julep from our friend Sydney at the Crepes of Wrath.

2. Get your ice cream on. 

The start of summer means the start of ice cream season. We like to celebrate with a scoop of Bourbon Pecan Ice Cream from Little Rock's own Loblolly Creamery (thanks to Steve Shuler of Little Rock Foodcast for the photo). We can't get enough of the flavor, so we drizzle Stonewall Kitchen Bourbon Pecan Caramel Sauce over it... so indulgent and so good!

3. Bless your biscuits. 

We love this recipe for ham biscuits from Southern Living. If you're not feeling up to assembly, though, why not try War Eagle Mill Biscuit Mix

4. Get a big hat. 

You can only get away with wearing a big hat at the Kentucky Derby, so make sure you indulge!

5. Learn the lingo.

Impress all your friends by throwing around such words as burgoo and knowing the difference between win, place, and show. Here's a guide to help!

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