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Kentucky Derby Party – Mint Juleps, Hats and Southern Gates

Imagine 165,000 people, some traveling thousands of miles, year in and year out, for a single 2 1/2 minute event. This happens the first Saturday in May for the Kentucky Derby, lauded as the greatest two minutes in sports and one of the most exciting fashion events of the year. Colorful attire and a parade of bold, extravagant hats mark the return of spring.

Plan a Kentucky Derby Party

lindlund5It starts with the hat. “Southern Belle” inspired, wide-brimmed hats are traditional – but there are no rules or limits for your hat fashion. Decorate with flowers, feathers, bows and ribbons. Zany or sublime, anything goes and not just for women. Men’s derby hats are often inspired by the styles popular in the 1920′s.

Accessorize your outfit with a Southern Gates pendant, bracelet and a pair of earrings. Then pick your horse, grab a frosty mint julep and get the party started! For an extra bit of fun, have a contest for the biggest hat, men’s hat or the best derby inspired hat.

Southern Gates Jewelry

Complete your Kentucky Derby look with a pendant, earrings and bracelet from Pyramid’s Southern Gates Collection.  The sterling silver scroll work patterns, filigree and tracery designs are inspired by the ornamental ironwork found in gates, balconies and windows throughout the South.

Shop All Southern Gate Jewelry Here.

Blog Bonus! ~~A Kentucky Derby A Mint Julep Recipe from the Food Channel that has a preparation time 24 hours and 22 minutes longer than the horse race itself. We’re guessing it might be worth the wait.

The Perfect Mint Julep

BulleitMintJulepPrep Time 24 hours and 25 minutes Ingredients 4 cups bourbon 2 bunches fresh spearmint 1 cup distilled water 1 cup granulated sugar Powdered sugar

Directions

Prepare mint extract - Remove about 40 small mint leaves. Wash and place in a small bowl. Cover with 3 ounces bourbon. Allow the leaves to soak for 15 minutes. Then gather the leaves in paper toweling. Thoroughly wring the mint over the bowl of whisky. Dip the bundle again and repeat the process several times.

Prepare simple syrup - Mix 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 cup of distilled water in a small saucepan. Heat to dissolve sugar. Stir constantly so the sugar does not burn. Set aside to cool.

Prepare mint julep mixture - Pour 3 1/2 cups of bourbon into a large glass bowl or glass pitcher. Add 1 cup of the simple syrup to the bourbon. Now begin adding the mint extract 1 tablespoon at a time to the julep mixture. Each batch of mint extract is different, so you must taste and smell after each tablespoon is added. You are looking for a soft mint aroma and taste-generally about 3 tablespoons. When you think it’s right, pour the whole mixture back into the empty liter bottle and refrigerate it for at least 24 hours to “marry” the flavors.

To serve the julep - Fill each glass (preferably a silver mint julep cup) 1/2 full with shaved ice. Insert a spring of mint and then pack in more ice to about 1-inch over the top of the cup. Then, insert a straw that has been cut to 1-inch above the top of the cup so the nose is forced close to the mint when sipping the julep. When frost forms on the cup, pour the refrigerated julep mixture over the ice and add a sprinkle of powdered sugar to the top of the ice. Serve immediately.