04 May, 2012

Derby Day Done Right

With Derby day almost upon us, and in homage to my Southern roots; here are a few inspirational derby day party ideas, glorious hats, and fun facts.  This is one place where a fascinator just won't do ladies.  The bigger the brim, the better, but with a touch of grace please. I'm definitely a downturn brim girl myself when it comes to hats.  I think they add a bit of mystery and fun to almost any hat! And, if I were a betting woman, I'd place my money on Bodemeister ;) Did you know that the Mint Julep didn't come to the Derby until 1938?  According to The Huffington Post, "The refreshing mint julep became the official drink of the Derby in 1938 (the first Derby was run in 1875) and was served in water glasses. According to the Derby Museum at Churchill Downs in Louisville, the glasses disappeared from the track dining room. So management started charging 25 cents per glass and the most popular race souvenir was born. They are collector's items and older glasses command hundreds of dollars on eBay. By 2010 the production run was up to 700,000 and they can be bought in stores. Sterling Silver Julep Cups were introduced in 1951 and they play an important role in Derby lore." And of course, you must bake the perfect Derby Pie for any Derby celebration.  Short on time, not to worry order from the Kentucky Derby store.  Derby-Pie® is the perfect blend of real chocolate and California walnuts baked in Kern's own flaky crust. The Official Pie of Churchill Downs and a Derby Party tradition for over 50 years.  Enjoy!
Diane Lane - Perfection, as always at the 2010 Derby.
 Images Above Courtesy of Southern Living.

The Perfect Mint Julep Recipe
Yield: 1 (12 ounce) cocktail
Preparation time: 10 minutes. Start mixing at least by 4:30 for 5:00 post time.
8 to 10 mint leaves
1 sprig of mint for garnish
1 tablespoon of sugar, more or less to taste
1 1/2 ounce clean fresh Kentucky spring water
3 ounces premium Bourbon
Crushed ice
About the Bourbon. Knob Creek is my favorite sippin' whiskey, but I cringe at the thought of mixing it with sugar and mint. So I use Jim Beam Black Label, first rate 8 year old that sells for about $25 where I live.
Optional: Replace the sugar with 1 ounce peach syrup.
Optional: Replace the water with seltzer to make it more lively.
Do this
1) Rinse the mint to make sure any dirt splashed on the underside of the leaves is gone. Don't dry them. The moisture from the rinse is helpful in making the drink.
2) Put the leaves in a 12 ounce cocktail glass and pour the sugar on top. Muddle them together with a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon. When the leaves and wet sugar begin to turn to a mushy paste, add the water and the bourbon, and stir with a fork until the sugar dissolves. Top with crushed ice, garnish with the sprig of mint, get your bets down, and serve.

Images Above Courtesy of Hats in the Belfry.Com.
Image Courtesy of Kentucky Derby Store.
Go Bodemeister!  

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