8 Kentucky Derby Recipes That Are Definitely Garland Winners

One of the South's favorite pastimes is getting dressed up in their Sunday best — including large, fancy hats, gloves, and dresses for the ladies, and loafers, sport coats, and collared shirts for the men — and watching the Kentucky Derby. Can't make it to the actual event at Churchill Downs this year? Don't worry, you can watch everything Derby related on NBC, which started on April 30 and goes through May 5 (the main event). Throw your own Kentucky Derby watch party for Saturday, May 5, complete with Kentucky Derby recipes your guests will be sure to love.

According to the Kentucky Derby website, The Kentucky Derby has been hosted at Churchill Downs "continuously" since 1875. That's a lot of history. The Derby is a "top rank, Grade I stakes race for 3-year-old thoroughbred horses" where they run around a "one and one-quarter miles long" track. The race occurs the first Saturday in May every year, and the website said there are usually 155,000 people at the event. The horse (well, jockey) that wins the Kentucky Derby will receive $2 million, and the race itself is called "the most exciting two minutes in sports," the website noted. There's usually a lot of betting and Mint Julep drinking at these events, and you can bring the fun to your own home with these delicious and on-theme recipes.

1Triple Crown Cupcakes

Southern Living on YouTube

Simply use your favorite cupcake recipe — my personal favorite is this base cupcake recipe from A Beautiful Mess — and then get a few packages of Nutter Butters, candy eyes, white, black, and red icing, and get to town. How cute are these cupcakes? I love his little smirk.

2Brown Sugar Caramelized Pecans

Betty's Kitchen on YouTube

It's always nice to have munchies for your guests, and these brown sugar caramelized pecans will fit right in with your southern theme. Obviously you should double or triple this recipe if you're having a lot of people over to watch the Derby.

3Cheese Grits

DW's Southern Cooking & BBQ on YouTube

Nothing says the South like the southern staple of grits. Add cheddar and butter, and you're golden. Your guests will love this hearty and savory dish to suck up some of the alcohol from the Mint Juleps you're going to serve. Be sure to use real corn grits, that instant stuff just isn't as good. Trust me. Sugar and bacon are optional to add in here, too. (I personally think sugar in your grits should be a crime in the south, but that's just me.)

4Bourbon Sweet Potatoes

American Lifestyle on YouTube

Since bourbon is definitely a Kentucky thing, you gotta have a lot of dishes featuring this southern alcoholic staple. And don't these sweet potatoes look delicious and pretty simple to make?

5Drunken Bourbon Whiskey Meatballs

Forkly on YouTube

Like I said — bourbon. These meatballs are all kinds of awesome and decadent, all while sticking with the Kentucky theme. As a finger food, this will help your guests who decided to don their huge hats, gloves, and floral dresses mess-free. You'll need two 900-gram bags of frozen meatballs, 1/2 cup bourbon, 1 cup ketchup, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. As a side note, can anyone actually pronounce Worcestershire?

6Kentucky Derby Pie

Everyday Gourmet With Blakely on YouTube

Obviously this Derby Pie is a must-have at a Kentucky Derby watch party. Bourbon and pecans in a pie, topped with mint when you serve? No wonder it's called Kentucky Derby Pie. Plus those chocolate chips coating the bottom of the pie? Yum.

7Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders

Food Lion on YouTube

These ooey, gooey and savory Kentucky hot brown sliders are sure to be a hit while you're cheering on your favorite horse. They're pretty simple to make and delicious to boot. And that topping? Oh, man.

8Mint Juleps

Howcast on YouTube

If you don't want to make anything else for your Kentucky Derby viewing party, you have to have Mint Juleps. I think it's the law or something. The fresh mint in this recipe really makes this drink pop — and I can guarantee this will be the best Mint Julep you've ever tasted. Don't forget the special ice. It'll need to be crushed for these beverages to be legit and diluted enough to not necessarily have an octane level.

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