Every year, a 2 minute horse race captures the country's attention. Every May, we grab the biggest hats we can find, pull out the seersucker and sit down to watch the Kentucky Derby. While we gather for the all day party, of course the snacks - and the bourbon - take center stage. Well, a least in our world it does. So, how can you best celebrate this annual Southern shindig? Well, we've got your guide right here!
NOTE: The events below are from 2015.
To Wet Your Whistle
Now, everyone knows the Derby means one thing - bourbon! And that bourbon will be made into the most refreshing of Southern sippers, the Mint Julep. Each year almost 120,000 juleps are served at Churchill Downs. Let's give them a run for their money. Southern Art's Bourbon Bar will be serving them up for only $5. And if you want an amazing bourbon selection, Table & Main is always a go-to.
To Get Your Hot Brown Fix
If you've never had a Hot Brown, let's set the stage for you. Invented at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, the Kentucky Hot Brown is an open faced sandwich made with turkey and bacon and topped with Mornay sauce. Then it's broiled until crispy and browned. So, who's serving these amazing creations on Derby Day? Old school Southern destination Pitty Pat's Porch will be making them. And bonus, you can sip on a Mint Julep while sitting in a rocking chair to get the full experience.
For Some Pimento Cheese
This isn't your lunch lady's cheese spread anymore! The chefs of Atlanta have really put some live into their versions of this Southern staple. Empire State South's will come in a little jar with a few other dips and spreads like boiled peanut hummus. Watershed serves theirs in pecan log form with pepper jelly, or baked into cornbread. It's pretty much nirvana.
If You Want to Host
If you want to play host(ess) on Saturday, there are plenty of ways to support local spots. For the drinks, go straight to H&F Bottle Shop in Buckhead. They are really knowledgeable and will help you create the perfect Derby drink. From the bourbon to bubbles, you won't be disappointed. For pimento cheese head to Star Provisions on the West Side or grab some FAB Pimento Cheese at the Freckled and Blue Kitchen in Smyrna. You can also pick it up at The Stout Brothers if you need to go on a beer growler run.