The first Saturday in May is a sacred day for fans of horse racing, as it marks The Kentucky Derby. The first race of the coveted Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby has been a must-see event ever since the very first race back in 1875. But even if you can't make it to Churchill Downs this weekend, you still have time to pull together an awesome little viewing party in the comfort of your own home. To help get the party started, you'll need some Kentucky Derby cocktail recipes that will last long after the two-minute race is over.
Mint juleps, and practically anything with bourbon, are a must at any Kentucky Derby viewing party. And your guests will absolutely love sipping on all of the funky interpretations of the classic race day drinks on this list.
So round up your guests (even if they aren't into horse racing) and get into the Kentucky Derby spirit this weekend. Encourage them to dress up in their Sunday's best (wearing the traditional big Derby hat is a must!), nibble on some good old fashioned Southern eats, and cheer on your favorite four-legged racer. And if you're really lucky, the horse you place your bet on will win it all.
1. Bourbon Sparkling Mojito
A Latin twist one of the Derby's classic drinks, Climbing Grier Mountain's bourbon sparkling mojito is a must-have on your cocktail menu.
2. Sparkling Cucumber Mint Gin
This sparkling cucumber mint cocktail from The Little Epicurean adds cucumbers to a traditional gin and tonic. And adding veggies to your cocktails might make you feel less guilty about gulping them down.
3. Raspberry Limoncello Prosecco
No matter who they're rooting for, your guests will love this easy to make raspberry limoncello Prosecco from Damn Delicious. Garnish your summer cocktail with frozen raspberries and mint leaves for a festive treat.
4. Mint Julep
The official drink of the Kentucky Derby, the mint julep is a must at any Derby-watching party.
5. Tipsy Lemonade and Peach Iced Tea
In the South, sweet tea is everything. What's the only thing that could make a nice cold glass of iced tea better? Vodka, of course. The Comfort of Cooking's tipsy lemonade and peach iced tea gives this southern staple a kick.
6. Lemon Verbena-Mint Soda Water
A refreshing non-alcoholic option from Wild Greens and Sardines, lemon verbena-mint soda water is perfect to drink between rounds of the harder stuff.
7. Bourbon Sidecar Cocktail
You can count the ingredients of Brooklyn Supper's simple bourbon sidecar cocktail on one hand, leaving you more time to think about your Derby party outfit.
8. Brooklyn Gin Mule
A simpler version of the classic cocktail, the Brooklyn gin mule needs only a few ingredients to come up with a delicious Derby party treat.
9. Blood Orange Bourbon Cocktail
This drink from The Little Epicurean is not your grandfather's old fashioned. The blood orange bourbon cocktail gives a classic drink a fruity, modern makeover.