Five Derby-Themed Recipes for the Kentucky Derby

It's time to don your best seersucker suits an Southern belle hats; the Kentucky Derby is this weekend. Whether you're supporting Wicked Strong, hoping to win big on Uncle Sigh , or just like getting bourbon-wasted while wearing a bowtie, we've got 5 classic derby-themed recipes for your Derby Day Party.

The Drink: Mint Julep

This bourbon cocktail is traditionally made with just four ingredients: fresh spearmint, bourbon, sugar and water. Served in a silver or pewter cup or old-fashioned highball glasses, the drink originated in the Southern United States and has been the official drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1938.

This classic recipe muddles together the mint and sugar to make a delicate, fragrant mash that enhances the whiskey. For added tartness, stir in a few smashed blackberries. Serve both versions with plenty of crushed ice as you cheer on your choice thoroughbred.

The Eats:

Kentucky Hot Brown

This hot sandwich was born in the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky in 1926. Made with turkey, bacon and tomatoes, it's traditionally served open-faced on thick-cut toast after being smothered in a cheesy mornay sauce and broiled until crisp. Get the recipe here.

Spicy Pickled Shrimp

This chilled Southern standby is the perfect appetizer for a hot Spring day. This recipe uses all-spice, Old Bay, chili flakes, garlic, and fresh lemon to make a bold pickling liquid that gets even better overnight.

Pimiento Cheese Dip

Known as the "caviar of the South," pimento cheese is a chunky cheese spread made with mayonnaise, pickled peppers, and a mix of cheeses. This recipe uses sharp yellow and white cheddar and a hint of celery salt. For extra spice, add a splash of hot sauce before serving it with crackers, toasted baguette, and assorted crudités.

The Sweet: Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

Old-fashioned pecan pie is a well-known Southern staple, but this recipe ups the ante by adding chocolate and a splash of Kentucky's favorite drink, barrel-aged bourbon. In our opinion, it's the only way to celebrate a Derby Day win.

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Brooke Viggiano is a contributing writer who is always looking to share Houston's coolest and tastiest happenings with the Houston Press readers.
Contact: Brooke Viggiano