As the countdown for the legendary “most exciting two minutes in sports” gets underway, not all Kentucky Derby fans attend the race in person. For those celebrating the Derby in their home (or at a nearby establishment), we’re bringing the celebration to you with Kentucky Derby Recipes, hats and party ideas to keep the festivities exciting all the way to the finish line.
Fast horses, jaunty jockeys, stylish women, handsome men, and free-flowing hooch (beer, mint juleps and more)…and in just two minutes, it’s all over. Yes, we’re still talking about the annual celebration, known as Kentucky Derby. This annual horse racing event is held in Louisville, Kentucky, on the first Saturday in May, as the culmination of the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival.
While not many of us may attend the actual event, Derby parties are also an annual tradition. Read on for Kentucky Derby mint julep recipe, suggestions for alluring Derby hats, fun Derby facts, and party ideas.
Kentucky Derby Recipes
More than 120,000 Mint Juleps are served over Kentucky Derby weekend! Let’s get this party started with a traditional Kentucky Derby Mint Jelip recipe — and a non-alcoholic recipe from the beverage architects at Flavorman (a couple miles from Churchill Downs): Pineapple Mint Tea Julep Mocktail.
Traditional Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Recipe
- 2 ounces (60 ml) Bourbon (I prefer Maker’s Mark)
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons water
- Mint leaves
- 4 Crushed ice cubes
Remove the stems of the mint leaves, then gently muddle. Add sugar and water in a Julep Cup or Collins glass. Fill with crushed ice. Add Bourbon and garnish with strongly stemmed mint.
Pineapple Mint Tea Julep Mocktail
- 2.5 oz (sweet or unsweetened) black tea
- 1.5 oz pineapple juice
- Fresh mint leaves
- Crushed ice
Muddle 8 mint leaves with the pineapple juice in the bottom of a rocks glass. Add tea and stir to combine. Add crushed ice to fill the glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. Makes one mocktail.
Kentucky Derby Party Ideas for Cocktails
Another hassle-free way to serve Bourbon is to mix mint julep into a punch and let your guests help themselves, freeing you up to be a charming host. make ahead of time – at least a couple of hours ahead so it has time to chill.
Another option is to serve mini-juleps, as many simply sip or toast to the Kentucky Derby tradition and then move on to their favorite
Kentucky Derby Hats – Under $100
Nothing maintains the Kentucky Derby’s reputation more than a stylish and lavish hat for the ladies — and more than 90 percent of female spectators wear hats!) — and its never too early or too late to buy a hat. While the average price of a high-end Kentucky Derby hat is $500 to $1,000, my personal favorite Kentucky Derby hats are well below that price point — and still guaranteed to be the hit of the Derby party.
For the woman who wants to be pretty in pink, this Morgan & Taylor Evonne Fascinator with crinoline roses in a headband will definitely turn heads (but not empty your bank account).
For a stylish, spring racing headpiece, this laser cut Morgan and Taylor design is made with faux leather. I like it because it’s a throwback to the 60s headbands. What do you think?
Affordable Kentucky Derby Hats – Under $20
Looking for a one-time Kentucky Derby hat — at a super low price? We’ve got you covered with this feminine gauze creation that also works well for the beach. (And it’s a steal — go ahead, click here to see the price…and you’re welcome!)
Another winner, this floral and affordable Kentucky Derby hat sports a colorful bow — and yes under $20.
Kentucky Derby Party Ideas for Decorating
Purchase one or more of the above affordable Kentucky Derby Hats and use for a centerpiece! How festive is that!?
Kentucky Derby Facts & History
For those intrigued with this run for the roses, here is a round-up of interesting Kentucky Derby facts and history, courtesy of WalletHub:
- $209.2 Million – Total amount wagered on the 2017 Kentucky Derby.
- 120K – Number of Mint Juleps served over Kentucky Derby weekend, requiring 1K pounds of fresh mint and 60K pounds of ice.
- 522,000 – Number of cans of beer that will be consumed. 163,000 hot dogs will be eaten.
- $997.19 Million – Worldwide sales of thoroughbred horses in 2017.