Sport and fashion are coming together once again for one of my favorite days of the year, The Kentucky Derby. This year’s Kentucky Derby will continue the celebration of life, sports, style and culture that has made it an American icon for 142 years. I always get super excited for the derby because of all of the tradition that it offers. From the hats, to the roses and mint juleps, The Kentucky Derby in my opinion is the most fabulous event of the year! Most of us aren’t lucky enough to make it to the worlds most famous horse race itself but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate in style at home! It’s time to dry those tears and recreate the derby magic with your friends and family. Check out this t.v. segment and learn How 2 make the HATS, the DRINKS and the FLOWERS! Followed by the recipe below.
The Kentucky Derby’s rich traditions make it a celebration of the best of American and Southern culture that reaches every generation.What sets the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks apart from other sports and entertainment events? Is it the world-class horses? The Hollywood stars? The romantic Twin Spires? Well, first and foremost, it’s the hats!!
Part Southern tradition, part spectacle, the Kentucky Derby hat parade is much of what makes “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” one of the greatest people-watching events in the world! From the fantastic to the sublime, there are no rules or limits when it comes to choosing your Derby hat.
Next up, The Famous Mint Julep! The Mint Julep has been the traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby for nearly a century. Old Forester Kentucky Bourbon is privileged and honored to be a part of that tradition.
Each year, almost 120,000 Mint Juleps are served over the two-day period of Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby weekend at Churchill Downs Racetrack. That’s a feat that requires more than 10,000 bottles of Old Forester Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint and 60,000 pounds of ice.
TheReady-to-Serve Cocktail is a staple at the track the rest of the year as well. You can also find the Old Forester Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail at your local retailer. The commemorative bottles have become collectors’ items for many, capturing the mood and spirit of the famous Churchill Downs track and Kentucky Derby race. If the Old Forester Ready-to-Serve Cocktail is not available from your local retailer, you can make your own with this time-honored recipe:
The Old Forester Mint Julep Recipe
- Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Old Forester Kentucky Bourbon. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- Sprigs of fresh mint
- Crushed ice
- Old Forester Kentucky Bourbon
- Silver Julep Cups
The roses were first established as part of the Derby celebration when they were presented to all the ladies attending a fashionable Louisville Derby party. The roses were such a sensation, that the president of Churchill Downs, Col. Lewis Clark, adopted the rose as the race’s official flower. The rose garland now synonymous with the Kentucky Derby first appeared in the 1896 when the winner, Ben Brush, received a floral arrangement of white and pink roses.
In 1904 the red rose became the official flower of the Kentucky Derby. The tradition was strengthened when, in 1925, New York sports columnist Bill Corum, later the president of Churchill Downs, dubbed the Kentucky Derby the “Run for the Roses.” The garland as it exists today was first introduced in 1932 for the 58th running won by Burgoo King.
Each year, a garland of more than 400 red roses is sewn into a green satin backing with the seal of the Commonwealth on one end and the Twin Spires and number of the race’s current renewal on the other. Each garland is also adorned with a “crown” of roses, green fern and ribbon. The “crown,” a single rose pointing upward in the center of the garland, symbolizes the struggle and heart necessary to reach the Derby Winner’s Circle.
Each year the Governor of Kentucky and other dignitaries also present the winning jockey with a bouquet of 60 long stemmed roses wrapped in 10 yards of ribbon.
As you already know the past two years I throw a fabulous Derby party but this year I am lucky enough to attend in person, so stay tuned because I’m going to be giving you a behind the scenes look into all the fun and fab festivities of the most anticipated events of the year!