Derby Day


Yesterday was the first Saturday in May, which of course means we celebrated the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby! Our friends Garrett and Maryanne always host the annual Derby Party, complete with an array of quiches, summer salads, seersucker suits, bowties, fabulous hats, and mint juleps.

This was Banjo's first Derby Party and he showed up in style wearing a flashy bowtie and salmon pink pants (who says you can't reuse that adorable Easter outfit for a Derby party??). 

Our friends always make it a great time by placing the racing bets raffle style! Everyone kicks a dollar into the pot and then you pull the name of a horse out of a (seersucker) hat. Sometimes, depending on the size of the crowd, you'll need to put the horses names in more than one. In that case, friends can split the pot if their horse is a winner! Sadly, Jordan and I never seem to pull the winning horse's name from the hat. Oh well, there's always next year! 

It was a gorgeous day so we spent the afternoon mingling with friends and letting Banjo explore the backyard. While horses race all day, the actual Derby is not usually until 6:00-6:30 so until then you can keep piling your plate with amazing snacks (usually laced with bourbon, so watch out) and tipping back drinks.



This is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby and I'll admit, I think it's actually pretty gross. They are always fabulously sweet, so sugary sweet that you sometimes don't notice just how much bourbon might be in there..... Dangerous combination. Also, the mint flavor on top can sometimes give me a stomachache. Is it any wonder that people tend to get really sick on Derby day trying to drink them! In my experience, a little taste goes a loooong way!

Here's a basic recipe for a single julep:

  • 2 oz. KY Bourbon
  • 3/4 oz. simple syrup
  • 1 handful fresh mint
  • muddle ingredients in a julep cup
  • serve with lots of ice, cut with water to taste


Derby Cupcakes

Chocolate bourbon cake topped with walnuts, drizzled in salted caramel, dusted with gold sprinkles 



While we waited for the race to start, we let Banjo play outside in the grass. Needless to say, he was not impressed: "Ew, ew, ew, the nature is touching me! Make it stop!"

It really stressed Jordan out to see his child so uncomfortable in nature, darn these freezing South Bend winters!  Jordan is now determined to make Banjo play out in the grass for a little while every day.