Saturday, May 7, 2011

Celebrating The Kentucky Derby in Style

And they're off!! With only minutes left until the start of the country's biggest horse race, also known as the "greatest two minutes in sports", we hope you are watching in the spirit of this great occasion.

Whether you are lucky enough to be at Churchill Downs in Louisville, or in the midst of planning a themed soiree locally, here are some great tips on how to really get into The Kentucky Derby Experience. 

When it comes to horse racing's premier event, the competition isn't limited to the track itself. The Kentucky Derby and its sister event, the Kentucky Oaks, are the only sporting events that are also fashion events. Derby attendees spend as much time and money on their race-day apparel as they do at the betting window -- maybe more!  And Derby fashionistas are in a race to see who can be declared best dressed.

The Kentucky Derby stands for a lot of things — cash, money, hats — but not least among them is the unofficial beginning of seersucker season. Since the man behind heritage brand Haspel  began cranking out the crinkly fabric in New Orleans a century ago, the lightweight style of a particularly Southern gentleman — bright colors, bow ties, hats (straw ones) — has come to redefine how we catch sunshine and a breeze.

Check out these Derby Day Men's essentials:

Suit by Frank Stella

Tie by Ben Silver

Shoes by Ben Silver

Straw Derby Hat by Stetson

Last week it was all about the hats rocked by fabulous British women at the Royal Wedding. This week it's our turn here in the US - ask any Southern Bell.

Check out these Derby Day essentials:

Hat by Marc Jacobs

Dress by Eliza J

Shoes by Pencey

Check out some of these great hats from Kentucky Derby attendees:

The Official Kentucky Derby Drink - The Mint Julep
It's not a Kentucky Derby party without this traditional spirit. The Mint Julep has been the traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby for nearly a century. Early Times Kentucky Whisky has been privileged and honored to be a part of that tradition. The Early Times Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail has been "The Official Mint Julep of the Kentucky Derby" for more than 18 years.


2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Sprigs of fresh mint
Crushed ice
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 two 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.

Have a great time!

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