May 5, 2017

How to look bonafide...





I was born and raised in the heart of the bluegrass and the horse racing capitol.  Lexington, Kentucky.  Derby time is a holiday season where I'm from.  It is celebrated and anticipated much in the same way Christmas is.  In Lex, you will find many people decorate for the Derby and host extravagant parties.  The Derby brings a very Old South feel back to the town as people shop for their big hats and prepare for lavish parties...As a "little irish town girl" like my Daddy calls me, we were more of your blue collar family (and proud of it) so we went to bbq's to celebrate the event instead of galas and fundraisers.

Any bonafide Kentuckian is going to a few things about horse racing.  It surrounds us, so one can only begin to absorb some of it...whether they like horse racing or not..I happen to love it...so here are my tips to impress the host of the Derby party you attend or your co-workers around the water cooler.

| MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME |

During Derby week, Kentucky is everybody's home, so take some time to learn our official state song that will precede the race on Saturday.  People will be impressed and will think you are a true Derby fan.  Click here for the lyrics that are posted on the Derby website.



| THE DERBY IS MORE THAN JUST THE ONE RACE |

Technically the Derby is a week long event.  Opening night is typically the Saturday before the main race.  There is usually horse racing during the beginning of the week, then you have the Longines Kentucky Oaks, which is a race for fillies.  Then the first Saturday in May is the main Derby event.  So if you really want to impress someone with your Derby knowledge, pay attention to the Oaks and learn a few of the fillies names...Bonus points if you know who wins The Oaks!



| YOU NEED TO NAME DROP |

There are two iconic names in horse racing, to me, and those are Bob Baffert and Calvin Borel.  There are plenty of other huge hitters that even bigger Derby aficionados can tell you about, but those two are household names in Kentucky.  Bob Baffert is a legendary horse trainer.  He trained American Pharoah, who won the Triple Crown in 2015 along with three other Derby winners. I can spot him in any Derby crowd because he has the whitest hair I have ever seen.  Calvin Borel is the most adorable jockey on this planet.  He is a 3-time Derby winner and is just the most gracious person.  He always makes me cry when he wins because he is overwhelmed with joy to the point you would think he had never won a race before...which is far from reality. As far as I know, Bob Baffert has a horse in the Oaks and while Borel is out of retirement, I don't believe he will be in the Derby this year.  Bring up these guys and people will think you are a Derby socialite!




| HONE YOUR SOUTHERN COCKTAIL CRAFT |

Everyone knows that Mint Juleps are one of the official drinks of the Derby.  Now, do you know how to make one? If not...it's time to learn.  I love any excuse to polish my Gran's julep cups that she won through the years playing Bridge.  I doubt she ever drank out of them, but every time I drink a Mint Julep I think of my Derby-loving Gran. Check out my recipe for traditional Mint Juleps.  These classically southern cocktails are sure to impress.






I N G R E D I E N T S

4 Tablespoons of sugar (Stevia works well as a substitute)

½ Cup of hot water

 Large bunch of mint
                -Bonus points if you have Kentucky Colonel Mint, if not any mint will work

1 overflowing cup of good Kentucky bourbon
                -I suggest: Woodford Reserve, Eagle Rare, Blanton’s, Booker’s or Knob Creek


M E T H O D

Make simple syrup by pouring hot water over sugar and mixing until completely dissolved.  I like to add a few mint leaves to infuse the flavor of the mint into the simple syrup.

Gently muddle about 8-10 mint leaves in each glass or cup

Fill glasses with crushed ice 

Pour 2 tablespoons of simple syrup in each glass or cup

 Pour ¼ cup of Bourbon in each glass or cup

Mix drink together and serve each glass garnished with a sprig of mint.







Happy Derby, Y'all!!

Linking up with some of my favorites

2 comments:

Christine Weis said...

I just love your photos...so beautiful! I'm definitely going to try that cocktail too! Thanks for sharing!

Sarita @ it's my girls' world said...

What beautiful photos you have! And mint juleps sound so, so good!