Some of us enjoy the Kentucky Derby for the thrill of the race, some of us enjoy the fashion — and the rest of us are just in it for the food and drinks, y'all. Sure it's fun to put on a huge hat and bet on some ponies, but how can you even concentrate on all of that other stuff when southern cuisine is involved?
If you're fixin' to have some friends over for the 2017 derby, these four traditional food and drink items are totally in order.
This classic Southern drink is made with mint, bourbon, sugar and water. Some people lightly bruise the mint, while others muddle it, but both methods accomplish the goal at hand — releasing the essential oil from the mint. A traditional way to serve mint juleps is in a silver julep cup. If you can’t break out the fine drink-ware, a tall glass works well too.
We've got 22 mint julep recipes for you right here — so take your pick, because it ain't the Kentucky Derby without one.
The main ingredients of what is known as Derby pie — a dessert associated with the Kentucky Derby — include pecans, chocolate and bourbon. Kern’s Kitchen holds the trademark for Derby pie, so what we’ve got for you below is another luscious pie that your guests will devour.
Are you noticing a pattern yet? Derby parties are all about the bourbon!
Bourbon balls may be little, but they are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Not only that, they are easy to make, pretty to serve and fabulous to munch on before, during or after the two minutes of race time. Call Me PMC's blog has the recipe for seven different varieties of authentic Kentucky bourbon balls for you to give a whirl.
For a little main dish deliciousness, try serving a traditional Derby-time dish with a twist. Pork and barbecues are quite popular in the South and at Derby parties everywhere. Instead of something you see all the time, like roasts or sandwiches, try some yummy pork tenderloin sliders. This is a great (and convenient) dish to serve at just about any party.
Originally published April 2012. Updated May 2017.
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