At CarefulPeach we will celebrate just about anything. Your dog walker’s birthday? Crack out the wine! Found a great new pair of shoes? Pop some bubbly! We even once helped celebrate a birthday for an antique cane (true story!) So when an actual event or holiday comes around, you best believe we are ready to party! Next weekend is the famed Kentucky Derby. Since 1875, Churchhill Downs has celebrated the “The Run for the Roses” in style with pastels, big floppy hats, and mint juleps in hand. In fact, it was reported that roughly 127,000 mint juleps are consumed at the derby! Here are our thee Derby essentials you need for easy entertaining:
- Mint Julep
If you’re hosting a Derby party, you’ll need mint juleps! While mint juleps can seem a little daunting, its much more simple than you’d think! A good mint julep has 3 core ingredients: Lots of crushed ice, mint, and bourbon! Once you have those, you can substitute or add any number of fun additions, such as muddled blackberries, cherries, or even strawberries.
The key to a great mint julep is light and refreshing taste. Often the more ice, the better, so keep an ice bucket on hand! While a traditional mint julep is served in a pewter cup, we chose to use these flared cocktail glasses made by Juliska.
- 10ish Mint leaves per drink (save the prettiest sprig for a garnish!)
- Crushed Ice
- 3-4 Ice Cubes
- 2oz Bourbon (we used Koval’s Bourbon)
- 1oz Simple Syrup
- Club Soda
- A muddler
- First, take a handful of mint and muddle with the simple syrup in a shaker.
- Add the bourbon.
- Add in ice cubes and shake!
- Strain into a glass filled with crushed ice.
- Top with club soda
- Add in your sprig of mint and enjoy!
2. Mini Cucumber Sandwiches
These are a tasty treat you can make in mere minutes! Cucumber sandwiches are one of my favorite springtime snacks, and while they have a posh reputation, they are quite economical to make! Plus, you can do most of the prep work the night before.
For the cucumber sandwiches, we used:
- 1 whole cucumber
- 1 baguette
- a hand full of dill
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 2 tsp of Robert Rothschild’s Emerald Isle Onion, Dill, & Horseradish Spread
- First, slice up the cucumber into thin slices (ours were roughly 1/4 of an inch).
- Next, in a medium sized bowl, mix the cream cheese and the Emerald Isle spread. As my girl Ina Garten would say, “If you want to turn up the volume” you can add more of the Emerald Isle for a great flavor kick. Planning on making this ahead of time? Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days beforehand.
- Slice the baguette into roughly 1″ slices.
- Smear the spread on the bread.
- Place a cucumber on each slice.
- Top with a sprig of dill and enjoy!
3. Chocolate & Berries
Its not quite Southern without a little sweetness! The mix of berries are great to add into any mint julep cocktail, and honestly, is it really a party without chocolate? These little horse shoe cookies are so cute (and perfect in this little Juliska glass canister!). And just who can resist these adorable mini chocolate caramel mushrooms? A total crowd pleaser! Looking for a great little plate? These Jardin du Monde dessert plates are perfect for showing off your derby treats. And can we talk about these super cute plaid linen napkins? The pattern is called ‘Brunch’ and it is so fitting! All that’s left is to add a big hat!
Are you planning any Derby parties? What are your favorite offbeat celebrations?