Thursday, May 3, 2012

Kentucky Derby Dreams

If you are ever invited to attend a National Sporting Event, 
or a themed party THE question is .......what do we wear?

In the case of Saturday's running of The Kentucky Derby, we will assume a ladies HAT is the most important factor of the ensemble.  Clearly inspired by racing tradition at Royal Ascot in England (hats are required attire for men and women more here)
and classic Movie costuming ......

Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle
in My Fair Lady
photo via Google Images &

The Derby Hats to consider ...

via Nordstrom    here

via Nordstrom     here
Berkeley Hat Company        here

Berkeley Hat Company             here

Let's not forget the BOYS in the race!  

A bit of history so you'll sound like a Fan, not just look like a fancy dresser .....

The Kentucky Derby,  The Preakness Stakes (May 19th) and The Belmont Stakes (June 9th) combined, are called The Triple Crown.

The last 3 winners of the Triple Crown are:

1973  Secretariat    more here

1977 Seattle Slew     more here
1978 Affirmed     via

Since 1979 there have been 11 horses who have won the first two "legs" of the Triple Crown, only to loose at The Belmont.  This excitement of the near miss is why The Derby is so important.

If you win the Derby there is always the chance you could win it ALL!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

There is not a fashion dictate for the other two races like ladies hats at The Derby, but each race does have a signature cocktail!  Which leads me to this statement ......

Yes, I do look at this as my favorite themed ("Spring Races") cocktail time of year. 

You may be torn on Saturday (May 5th = Cinco de Mayo) between a margarita and the all time great Mint Julep. (nearly a mojito!) 
Last year The Derby was the day before Mother's Day and we were at Montage Beverly Hills celebrating Mother's Day Tea.  (my Julep was delish! )

Mint Julep Recipe
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Sprigs of fresh mint
  • Crushed ice
  • Early Times Kentucky Whisky*
  • Silver Julep Cups  (When not full of good drink - they are beautiful flower vases!)
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 Early Times Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.     Recipe via
*I have Makers Mark Kentucky Whisky
in my bar cabinet both are YUM!

The Preakness Stakes has the

Blackeyed Susan
I once waited nearly an hour for a poolside bartender to
find the recipe for this before the race started - TOTALLY worth it!

Preparation and Ingredients 

  • 3/4 cup orange juice 
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 3 tablespoons vodka 
  • 3 tablespoons light rum
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
  • Crushed ice
  • Garnishes: lime slices, fresh cherries
  1. 1. Stir together first 5 ingredients. Fill 2 (12-oz.) glasses with crushed ice. Pour orange juice mixture over ice. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.
  2. Note: For testing purposes only, we used Grand Marnier orange liqueur.         Recipe via

The Belmont Stakes 
has two official cocktails beginning with the traditional favorite,

White Carnation  (my favorite too - stick with Tradition)



  1. Pour the vodka, schnapps and orange juice into a mixing glass filled with ice.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice.
  4. Top with soda water and a splash of cream.
  5. Garnish with an orange slice.                       Recipe via

The Belmont Breeze (top)
The White Carnation (bottom)
photo via
and then in 1998 Master Mixologist, Dale DeGroff (The KING of Cocktails) changed it up and created,
The Belmont Breeze



  1. Shake all ingredients with ice.
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with fresh mint sprig and orange peel.      Recipe via

Wither you are having, or attending, a party to watch 
The Derby and the races to follow.... join me in making and enjoying the cocktails - they are an event in themselves!
(and wear a pretty hat!)
Cheers!  Linda   :-)


  1. Linda!

    I can't decide which hat to wear - if I were to attend. Hmm which drink will I have.. Mint julep!

  2. Loved your derby post and all the cocktails!! I was planning on having a derby party this year because Max my husband is from Kentucky, but we were away. I always thought that would be fun. I didn't know the other races had drinks too and will be trying those!!

    I had a mojito on Saturday! Anything with mint is the best! Hope you had fun.


    1. Gotta love the cocktail. :-) Your Max is a Kentucky Gentleman ? You lucky lass!
      Did you check out the One Kings Lane estate sale of Albert Hadley yet? Such a great way to study the elements of a design whole.
      And we know we can find like items at better prices to add to our decors. :-)

  3. I love this event and am glad you enjoyed it too! Look forward to reading more about your adventures and maybe running into you some time Lousivlle Home Rental


Hello! Your comments are the interaction I look forward to while writing my posts.
Cheers! Linda


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