Derby Days: The Kentucky Derby

The Savory Pantry on the Road to the Triple Crown!  We love any excuse to throw a party and as far as we're concerned, there is nothing better than the excitement surrounding The Kentucky Derby, The Preakness Stakes, and The Belmont.  There are so many traditions surrounding these great races, and this week we'll introduce you to two of our favorites: The cocktails and the fashion!  Mix up a signature race day drink and don a gorgeous hat from our friend and noted milliner Christine A.'re already a winner!

Stay the end of the week we'll provide some great recipes and fun tips for throwing an exceptional Kentucky Derby party at home! ~Keeley

The 140th running of The Kentucky Derby is coming up May 3rd and, horse racing fans that we are, we've been preparing for weeks!  We love the traditions surrounding the greatest two minutes in sports....a well-made Mint Julep, a slice of Derby Pie, the singing of My Old Kentucky Home, not to mention the extraordinary hats...

Join us as we celebrate this year's Run for the Roses in great taste... and great style!   

Derby Days: The Kentucky Derby


"Black Beauty" Hat from Christine A. Moore Millinery - The Official Milliner of The Breeder's Cup! CLICK HERE to visit Christine's website and view her stunning collection of extraordinary race day hats!


No Derby Day celebration is complete without a traditional Mint Julep.  While there are many variations on Kentucky's most famous drink, we prefer a tried and true recipe from long-time family friend Bob McFarland.

Bob and his wife Myra Jo were known on the Dallas cocktail circuit for their annual Kentucky Derby party, often lasting into the wee small hours of the morning... long after the Run for the Roses was over!  Bob is no longer with us, but his spirit (pun intended!) lives on in his legendary Mint Juleps.  The secret to this intoxicating julep is time.  Allow the mint, bourbon and sugar to steep for 3 days prior to serving.  

Bob McFarland's Mint Julep

You will need:

  • 1 cup fresh mint
  • 1 pint bourbon (we like Woodford Reserve)
  • 1 cup sugar

In an airtight container, gently muddle mint with sugar.  Add bourbon, cover, and allow flavors to meld for 3 days.

When ready to serve strain mint mixture through cheesecloth into a serving pitcher, squeezing the cloth as you go to release as much of the mint mixture as possible. 

Fill julep cups with crushed ice.  Add 1 part mint mixture to 2 parts bourbon.  Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.  Serve with a straw.  If desired, rim julep cups with mint julep sugar prior to filling.

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