Get ready to go to the races — we’re giving you the scoop on how to host a stellar Kentucky Derby party thanks to Manhattan’s timeless restaurant, '21' Club. The restaurant plays hosts to guests in hats of grandeur for their annual Derby bash, and this year is no different.
Complete with classic Kentucky-style recipes and their signature 21 Triple Crown Cocktail, it’s going to be a blast. However, if you don’t call New York City home, we’ve rounded up a few tips from the restaurant on how to host an authentic Derby Day bash on your own. Take a peek at the recipes below and tips that gurantee a sure-fire hit!
The Daily Meal: What are must-serve foods at a Derby party?
'21' Club: The most important aspect of Derby party food is that it should be Kentucky-inspired.
They have a rich cuisine and some classic dishes that we've put together in bite-size portions to make it perfect for passing at a party, as well as easy to eat. For instance, we are serving the popular spicy Kentucky stew called burgoo in spoons.
The cornmeal fried oysters with remoulade are a one-bite snack, and then perhaps the most classic of all Kentucky dishes is the hot brown, which we have turned into mini hot browns. Of course, no party is complete without dessert, so we have made mini pecan pies topped with whipped cream.
TDM: What Is Perfect “Festivities” During the Party?
'21' Club: Everyone attending a Derby party should be dressed to impress, most notably in fabulously large hats. In order to ensure people dress up, it's fun to have a prize for the person in the most festive Derby attire.
It's always festive to have a pool going for the winning horse (extra winnings if you have people pick which horses might win the Triple Crown), and if you are a dedicated horse crowd, you could create a trivia game based on the horses that are running in the Derby.
TDM: The mint julep is already popular, so tell us about your signature cocktail the Triple Crown.
'21' Club: Our Triple Crown cocktail is a delicious boozy fruit punch, as we like to call it. What's interesting about this drink is that it's not a random mix of alcohols. Our bartenders worked very hard to pull traditional drinks from all three horse races (Derby, Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes) in order to create a collaborative horse racing cocktail. The Woodford Reserve bourbon represents the Kentucky Derby (from the mint julep), the Mount Gay rum and orange juice come from the original Black-Eyed Susan, the official drink of the Preakness, and a majority of the ingredients represent The Belmont Breeze from the Belmont Stakes, including the Bristol cream sherry, the juices, and 7UP soda.