Run for the Roses

7:32 PM

kentucky derby fashion blogger

run for the roses fashion

kentucky derby rebecca mink

kentucky derby fashion blogger

kentucky derby fashion blogger

kentucky derby fashion blogger

kentucky derby fashion blogger

kentucky derby fashion blogger

Every year I get really excited for the Kentucky Derby, partly because I was born and raised in Kentucky so horse raising is just in my blood, and partly because I love every excuse to get really dressed up and wear fun hats and drink mint juleps! I mean c’mon, the derby is known for fashion almost as much as it is known for horses, so you better believe I will be glued to the television all day Saturday since I can’t be there in person this year :)

That said, I can’t possibly be the only person who won’t be in attendance, so I’ve been putting together some things I can do around the house to make Chicago feel a little more like Kentucky on Saturday. So if you are celebrating the Derby this weekend, which also happens to be the day before Mother’s Day people, here are some fun ways to spruce things up and make the most exciting 2 minutes in sports, just a little more exciting!

Homemade Mint Juleps
Sure, making a mint julep is a little more complicated than pouring yourself a beer, but they’re delicious and it’s one day a year, so splurge for the little extra effort. Clueless about what a mint julep even is?! Don’t worry, I’ve included my favorite recipe below:

3 fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon Mint Simple Syrup
Crushed ice
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) bourbon
1 (4-inch) cocktail straw or coffee stirrer
1 fresh mint sprig
Powdered sugar (optional)

Place mint leaves and Mint Simple Syrup in a chilled julep cup (yes you need a special cup for these – kind of like Moscow Mules). Gently press leaves against cup with back of spoon to release flavors. Pack cup tightly with crushed ice; pour bourbon over ice. Insert straw, place mint sprig directly next to straw, and serve immediately. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Place Bets at Home
Part of the fun of the Derby is the potential to win big sums of $$$$$! Joe and I always place a few bets on the race from various online websites because it gets us a little more invested in the big race. Some of the sites we use are below:

  • Twinspires
  • Bovada
Celebrate at the local bars devoted to the Derby
If you’re celebrating in Chicago (like I am!) then there are a couple of places devoted to the Derby this Saturday that I will definitely be hitting up should I opt to not celebrate at home.
          Zed451’s Big Brothers, Big Sisters Day at the Races
a.   Includes plenty of Mint Juleps, Derby-tinis, wine, beer and southern cuisine. Tickets are $75 per person or $250 for a group of four.

·         Bull & Bear “Derby Days” Party
a.    Place your bet with the specialty horse betting cards and win a variety of prizes. Specialty menu items include Kentucky Burgoo Stew, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Bacon Jalapeno Cornbread, and Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Bites, along with Woodford Reserve Manhattans and Mint Julep.

·         The Red Canary’s Down & Derby Garden Party
a.   Includes a special brunch, race viewing and party 'till 3 a.m. Mint Juleps will be priced at $5 and microbrew cans will be $3. The live viewing of the red carpet arrivals and race festivities will be shown on the outdoor flat screen televisions beginning at 3 pm.

·         Old Town Social
a.   Authentic pig roast starting at 11 a.m. on the outdoor patio. OTS race day betting cards will be available for the opportunity to win prizes, along with a contest for the best hat and seersucker suit.

·         The Pony
a.   Derby Party begins at 11 a.m. and includes a Best Dressed and Best Hat Contest with $100 cash prizes, $5 Jim Beam, Makers Mark and Red Stag Cocktails, $5 Mint Juleps, raffles and giveaways including a trip to the Equestrian Connection Staples. A $10 Southern Buffet featuring fried chicken, biscuits, mashed potatoes and more will also be available.

·         Arlington Race Track
a.   Arlington is throwing the biggest Kentucky Derby party in Chicagoland! With special all-inclusive packages, fashion contests, and giveaways, it will be a Derby party like no other. For more details click here

    Have a Hat Party
Invite guests over to your home, but require that a hat be worn. Take the time to try on each other’s hats throughout the day and award a little price to the best hat!

How are you celebrating the Derby and Mother's Day this weekend? Feel free to share your suggestions and ideas below!!

Outfit Details
Dress; Paper Crane (old) - similar here
Watch; Shinola
Necklace: Gorjana