Tips and Recipes For Hosting the Perfect Kentucky Derby Party

May 1, 2015

The ponies are lining up tomorrow, May 2, for the greatest horse race in America - the Kentucky Derby! Are you ready to celebrate the most exciting two minutes in sports in style? G.H. MUMM, the official Champagne of the Derby (and what they spray the winning horse with at the end of the Derby), created a bubbly twist on the classic mint julep recipe to toast the event. Their champagne cocktail features a splash of vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup - and, of course, mint - for one winning cocktail! But a great party isn’t just about a great cocktail. Lifestyle expert, Limor Suss, gives tips on how to throw one splendid Kentucky Derby shindig.  

G.H.MUMM Mint Julep

2 parts G.H.MUMM Cordon Rouge
11/2 parts Absolut Citron Vodka
1 part Fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 part Simple syrup
1 finger pinch Fresh mint

Pour all ingredients, except G.H. MUMM Cordon Rouge, into a mixing glass.

Add ice, cover and shake vigorously for 7-8 seconds.

Pour G.H. MUMM Cordon Rouge into a chilled cocktail-martini glass and pour the cocktail over it.

Tips for Hosting the Perfect Kentucky Derby Party

Ask your friends to dress up in their finest clothes. This is the one day of the year when more is better. Invite male guests to wear light linen suits, seersucker, or really “go for it” with lively colors like coral, light blue, lime and yellow. The ladies should wear colorful sundresses and hats.

Set Up a Hat Decorating Station
Ladies, the Kentucky Derby is the time to sport a big feminine hat! Pick up flowers, lace, butterflies, tulle and feathers at your local craft store. Put out some glue guns and set up a hat decorating station. Purchase a few extra inexpensive hats, just in case someone forgets to bring one.

Roses as D├ęcor
The Kentucky Derby is also known as “The Run for the Roses” where the winner is draped with a blanket of roses. You’ll want to get some rose petals and put them on the tables.

Make a Derby “Cheese Hat”
Use two different sized rounds of brie (or any other round cheese) layer on top of one another (like a wedding cake); add a colorful ribbon, decorate with herbs and edible flowers. Serve with toasted bread and fig jam.

Triple Crown Desserts
The Kentucky Derby race is the first leg of the coveted Triple Crown. (Fun Fact: There hasn’t been a Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.) Serve a trio of desserts: Mini pecan pies, Bourbon bites and mint julep cupcakes.

1st, 2nd and 3rd Place
The Derby is all about who wins. Why not have your own competition at home and assign a random horse to each guest? The guest matched with the winning horse receives a bouquet of roses and a bottle of G.H.MUMM Cordon Rouge.


Editorial disclosure: Foodista received no compensation or product for this post.