We had the most fun Kentucky Derby viewing party on Saturday, and I can’t wait to share all the details today. I realize the official flower of the Derby is the red rose, but that clashes with our decor and my outfit, I make the rules, and by the way, would you have passed by these pink peonies?! So I decided to mix up my color scheme choices and go with some unexpected pink and blue. (Jokes. That’s what I always use.) Anyway, it was more of a Kentucky Oaks look than a Derby Day look, and the Oaks Lily cocktail blended in perfectly.
I took the silver of the mint julep cups as an inspiration and went wild with silver. It turned out looking like a Beatriz Ball catalogue, and I’m not mad about that. (Beatriz Ball is seriously the best. It can be frozen, heated to 350, washed with soap and water, used to hold even citrus fruits and doesn’t tarnish.) We have the Organic Pearl pattern, and they are some of my very favorite wedding shower gifts. You might have noticed, I use a lot of the pieces daily around the apartment.
The first and most important part of any Derby Day menu is, of course, a mint julep bar. I had a moment of panic when the first grocery store we went to was out of mint, so then I bought enough to make juleps for an army at the next place. (Sorry anyone else who came to Harris Teeter after us.)
My grandmother got us these beautiful engraved mint julep cups for my birthday one year, and I was so excited to break them out. I use one every day to hold my make-up brushes, but otherwise, they have been waiting for this perfect occasion.
How perfect is this bourbon barrel top lazy Susan as the forum for our mint julep bar? It was meant to be. I also thought a derby party is a great excuse to get a little formal, so I broke out our Waterford for the occasion as well. I thought sugar cubes would be the cutest way to incorporate the sugar, and this heirloom ash tray engraved with my great grandfather’s monogram was my improvised sugar bowl.
For the rest of our menu, I committed to our celebration of all that is Kentucky:
Home-made Arnold Palmers
Appetizers and Sides
Deviled Eggs (made by Catarina!)
Pimento Cheese Dip (made by Ryan!)
Melted Brie with Pecans and Honey
Strawberry Pecan Salad with Bourbon Vinaigrette
Mini Kentucky Hot Browns with Mornay Sauce on the side
Biscuits with Country Ham or Blackberry Jam
Chocolate Pecan Derby Pie (made by Erin!)
Of course we went all out with our outfits, including Pippa. She just begged me to wear these pearls, and I have to admit she was right, she looks just elegant in them.
For the race, Erin, Catarina, and Sally helped me make flags out of washi tape with the horses’ names and jockey numbers on them.
Everyone drew a horse to cheer for during the race!
I had #1, Trojan Nation, (who I never saw in the race) but Will had #5, Gun Runner, who came in third!
I really appreciated Erin’s enthusiasm as we cheered for our horses as they were introduced. Poor Ben had Danzing Candy, who looked like he was going to win until the very end!
We started watching around 6:30, and by 6:45 it was all over!
The ladies looking lovely.
From Steeplechase to DC Derby parties, this is our Vandy crew.
And of course, Erin and Ryan!
Uh, there are two left. Can I get a horse, mom?
All in all it was an awesome day that actually went well into the night.
Did anyone else throw a derby party?