Hold Your Horses, Here’s the Only Kentucky Derby Party Menu You Need

Since the beginning, food and drink have been an integral part of the Kentucky Derby. For over 100 years, Churchill Downs has elevated some of the finest Southern comfort food into a dishes to toast society with. Whether that be the ubiquitous Kentucky bourbon or a more homely Derby pie, certain foods are inextricably linked to the Derby.

So when you’re organizing your viewing party this year, make sure that you include some of the classic Kentucky Derby recipes to pair with your floppy hats. To help you provide a diverse offering to your guests, here is a menu that hits the sweet spot and is sure to carry you to victory. Grab your best hat and get ready to swoon over these official Kentucky Derby party recipes!

Cocktail: Derby Mint Julep

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Classic Kentucky Mint Julep

Mint Juleps have been the traditional drink served at Churchill Downs for over 100 years. The combination of simple syrup, crushed ice, and quite a few ounces bourbon is a winner.

This cocktail is a refreshing showcase of Kentucky’s finest bourbon. Whoever concluded that a fresh mint sprig would be the most flattering way to accentuate the subtle notes of bourbon clearly knew what they were doing.

Get the recipe here.

Cocktail: Bourbon Sweet Tea Cocktail

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Cosmopolitan Cornbread

Nothing is more Southern than sweet tea. Except for maybe when you blend it with some Kentucky bourbon. Then it becomes a high-class Southern sip.

Get the recipe here.

Appetizer: Benedictine Dip

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Tasting Table

This dip was brought into the world at the turn of the previous century by Jennie Carter Benedict, a businesswoman, restaurateur, and writer from Louisville, KY.

Although it may look like your average party dip, this Kentucky Benedictine dip packs a punch. Blended with onion pulp and cayenne, it is only the addition of cool cucumber that saves this dip from making you tear up. The resulting combination is, however, a winning one.

Get the recipe for the big race here.

Main: Hot Brown Sandwich

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The Spice Kit Recipes

No Kentucky Derby party ideas list would be complete without a Louisville classic, the Hot Brown Sandwich. This iconic sandwich originated in the 1920s in the kitchen of the Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY.

Probably named for its predominant characteristics of being hot and brown, this sandwich’s otherwise uninspiring name belies its deeply satisfying taste, perfect for the horse race.

Get the recipe here.

Side Dish: Corn Pudding

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Half Baked Harvest

Corn pudding is one of those strange, yet delicious kitchen inventions to come out of Kentucky. Bursting with summer produce and southern comfort, there is nothing better to snack on as you watch those horses streak down the racetrack.

Get the recipe here.

Dessert: Derby Pie Brownies

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Hostess at Heart

The classic version of this dessert is, of course, Kentucky Derby pie. But we’ve all had that at least once of twice. So, in order to shake things up, but still keep tradition alive, try Derby Pie Brownies this year. It’s all the flavor, but just with a new face.

Get the recipe here.