Whether you are planning a trip to Louisville, Kentucky this weekend, or staying back and wearing a Derby-inspired outfit, here are a few party tips on hosting a Kentucky Derby celebration.
Serve a Kentucky feast. You will be the belle of the stable by providing your guests with a beautifully decorated table with all of their favorite foods. Put your silver on display, bring out your favorite glass cloche bell jars, freshly press your white table cloth, and let the party begin.
Dress like you are going to the races. Vineyard Vines has the perfect look for attending the race or a backyard event for both guys and girls.
Add some color to your table by serving a fresh summer salad. Try this Tropical Ambrosia Salad recipe. Your guests will be impressed.
The rose is symbolic of the Kentucky Derby. Serve your guests after dinner coffee in dainty coffee cups, straight from your china cupboard. The delicate petals add a beautiful dimension to a collection of vintage china.
Have a few outdoor games at the ready. Allow for family and friends to reenact some good down-home southern entertainment. Horseshoes, croquet or flag football all spell Southern charm.
Serve a signature cake. Of course, one that symbolizes “The Garland of Roses” that adorns the winning thoroughbred. Red Velvet Cake is a Southern tradition.
Create a Mint Julep bar. Hire a bartender to make and serve your favorite libation. Set out a few cut crystal decanters with some Kentucky bourbon for guests to pour their own. Ask your bartender to dress in a bow tie and preppy pastels.
Select a color theme. The Longines Kentucky Oaks 141 is an equally exciting race, taking place the day before the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. It includes a Survivors Parade presented by The Kroger Company, in support of breast and ovarian cancer survivors. Pink is the color of the day – wear pink at your own party proudly. Why not have a Pink Out Party in support of someone you love who is, or has previously gone through cancer treatment? Grey Goose Oaks Lily is the official drink for the race. Here’s the recipe…courtesy of the Kentucky Derby website. Serve it at your Kentucky Derby party and show support for someone you love.
GREY GOOSE OAKS LILY
1 Oz GREY GOOSE® Original
½ Oz Fresh Lemon Juice
½ Oz Simple Syrup
3 Oz Cranberry Juice
Splash of Orange Liquor
Fill glass slightly above rim with cubed ice. Pour ingredients in order listed to ½ inch from top of glass. Stir slowly and present with a fresh blackberry and a slice of lemon
For more of my Kentucky Derby etiquette tips, check out my article Kentucky Derby 2015: Notable Tips and Traditions on The Huffington Post.