Get Down and Derby
How to throw the best Kentucky Derby Party
And we’re off! The stage is set for the 148th annual Kentucky Derby, so why not celebrate? As much as we love the greatest two minutes in sports, Derby Day would be nothing without its trademark food, drinks, clothes, and, of course, parties. This is a perfect opportunity to throw a Pure Romance party that will have your clients immediately looking forward to next year’s.
Hors (Not Horse) D’oeuvres
Nothing brings prestige and class to your party more than sophisticated finger foods! These decadent appetizers are great for snacking, with minimal mess. Classics include bourbon meatballs and variations of the Kentucky hot brown. But our favorite is a nice, fluffy deviled egg. These are a sure-fire hit, so try this recipe for two dozen of them!
- 12 large eggs
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp minced shallot
- ¼ tsp Tabasco sauce
- Salt, pepper, and paprika, to taste
With a steamer basket, steam your eggs in an inch of boiling water for 17 minutes. Submerge eggs in cold water and peel. Lengthwise, slice eggs in half. Scoop out the yolk and mash them in a bowl with a fork. Mix with mustard, onion, mayonnaise, Tabasco, salt, and pepper. Place mixture into a piping bag and pipe into the hollowed egg halves. Sprinkle with paprika.
It isn’t a party without libations, and it definitely wouldn’t be a Derby party without mint juleps. It has been the official drink of the event since 1983, after all. Try this recipe from Serious Eats and transport your guests directly to the racetrack.
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp water
- 8-10 fresh mint leaves
- Crushed ice
- 2-3 oz bourbon
- Mint sprigs
In a julep cup, stir sugar and water until sugar dissolves. Add mint leaves and lightly muddle with wooden muddler or spoon. Fill bottom half with ice and add bourbon. Stir to combine aromas and flavors. Add second half of crushed ice and garnish with mint sprigs.
This special event is a great excuse to dress like a southern belle. Encourage your guests to arrive in style. Your standard Derby ensemble includes spring dresses, bold colors, and elaborate decorative hats, and everyone loves the fascinators. For men the fedora or straw boater hats are always a fashionable pick. These are the bread and butter of the Kentucky Derby. In fact, wearing a hat is believed to be good luck!
While it’s not legal to become a full-on bookie, there’s nothing wrong with adding some stakes to the race. Incorporate some friendly competition by offering a prize to whoever can pick this year’s winner. For a laugh, we recommend throwing in our Tickle & Whip for any attending jockeys.
With these tips, your party is bound for a spot in the winner’s circle. If you’re looking for additional inspiration, check out our Derby Day Pinterest board and customize your party to give it that personal touch! Giddy Up!