The 139th Kentucky Derby kicks off at Churchill Downs racetrack in Kentucky this Saturday, so get ready for all-you-can-eat Southern fare, plenty of juleps and lots of horsing around. Round up your best derby garb and sport your finest hat, because New York is off to the races.
From Millionaire’s Row to square dancing and sticky barbeque fingers, here is a roundup of parties across New York that are ready to get down and derby.
12 Grattan St., Brooklyn, (718) 366-6311.
Sip mint juleps or indulge in good ol’ fashioned bourbon. Mix and match flights of four bourbon shots ($25) or throw $5 into a winner-take-all pot for “luck of the draw” gambling on the race. Show up in a derby hat and you may win a bottle of bourbon from Brooklyn’s oldest distillery, Kings County.
The Garden at Studio Square will convert its beer garden into a bourbon garden for the Kentucky Derby.
35-33 36th St., Queens, (718) 383-1001.
Watch this beer garden turn into a bourbon garden before your eyes. Celebrate with a pitcher of mint juleps, a bucket of Maker’s Mark bourbon, BBQ glazed wings and live entertainment ($25).Women’s best bonnet and men’s best dressed prizes will be awarded.
149 Seventh St., Brooklyn, (718) 643-6510.
Show off your square dancing moves and enjoy plates from Brooklyn’s go-to sandwich shop, Urban Rustic, along with Kentucky-style beer cheese by Floyd eats ($10) and Old Grandad Juleps ($6). After the race, stick around for karaoke. Trophies will be awarded for best performances. Festivities begin at 1 p.m.
If your julep isn’t sweet enough, try Butter & Scotch’s Mint Julep Cream Pie is made with Maker’s Mark bourbon and an all-butter crust filled with rich mint-bourbon custard.
35-15 36th Street, Long Island City, (718) 707-0660.
Watch the race on multiple flat screen TVs and get your $1 oysters from 6 to 7 p.m. at the bar. There will be mint julep cocktails ($12), and half-priced beer and wine.
Various locations; brotherjimmys.com
Whether you go out or stay in, remember the Early Times Distillery Co. mint julep — it’s a Derby Day staple.
What better way to spend Derby Day than at than a barbecue joint? All five locations are celebrating with $7 mint juleps and a ton of BBQ finger-licking good food.
10 Columbus Circle #4, (212) 823-9769.
For those seeking a more upscale affair, this “Millionaire’s Row” party boasts MLE Hagen hats, a special Bulleit Bourbon cocktail menu, including mint juleps, peach tea and Southern glam ($13) and Southern specialties from Chef Marc Murphy’s Benchmarc Events. Plates include Kentucky hot browns ($15), Southern sliders ($15), lobster truffle mac and cheese ($12) and run for the roses pecan bars ($5). Each female guest donning a derby-style hat will receive a complimentary “Run for the Rosé” glass of sparkling Rosé.
For those celebrating at home, impress your guests with your own derby-fare. Try a classic mint julep recipe from Early Times Kentucky Whisky.
Brother Jimmy’s will serve $7 mint juleps for the derby.
From Early Times Distillery Co.
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Sprigs of fresh mint
Early Times Kentucky Whisky
Silver Julep Cups
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 2 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.
If that’s not sweet enough, Butter & Scotch’s Mint Julep Cream Pie ($35), made with Maker’s Mark bourbon — an all-butter crust filled with rich mint-bourbon custard and a whipped cream topping — will make you the hit of every Kentucky Derby party in town. Get it at the Brooklyn Flea (176 Lafayette Ave.) or online.