Whether you’ve got a bet down with your friends on a horse, or are just putting on a big, floppy hat for the camaraderie, Kentucky Derby parties are a good reason to eat fancy food and drink mint juleps.
The 141st Kentucky Derby is Saturday, May 2, 2015, at Churchill Downs in Kentucky. 25 horses are going neck and neck for the top spot — meanwhile, you can go wild on themed snacks.
- RELATED: Kentucky Derby 2015: Five facts about Mint Juleps and a recipe, April 29, 2015
The top ranked horses this year, in order, are International Star, Dortmund, Carpe Diem, American Pharaoh and Frosted, according to the Derby.
Ditch the horse-shaped cookie cutters and take your derby foods to the next level with five party foods, each with a nod to one of the top contenders.
We admit, some of these might be silly, but who can really take themselves super seriously when wearing a hat like this?
1. International Star
Ranked at the top with 171 season points, just one point above the second-ranked horse, International Star is trained by a Michigan native, according to Kentucky Derby.
Since the jockey, Miguel Mena, is Peruvian, we thought a Classic Chilcano de Pisco would be a refreshing alternative to the ever popular mint julep.
Chilcano de Pisco
from The Latin Kitchen
- 2 oz. Pisco
- 2 drops bitters
- ¼ lime, juiced
- Ginger ale
- Fill a large glass with ice and add the Pisco.
- Add lime juice, 2 drops of bitters and top with a splash of ginger ale.
- Place slice of lime inside the glass, stir and serve.
This horse’s owner actually lives in Virginia, but its name comes from one of the larger cities in the western part of Germany. Few things are more deliciously German than pretzels.
Pretzel lovers celebrated National Pretzel Day a few days ago, and Flavor 574 has some delicious soft pretzel recipes that are easy to roll out and twist up.
3. Carpe Diem
Seize the day with some of the hottest wings you’ve ever eaten. These are not for the faint of heart.
- RELATED: Fireside Tap & Grill in Edwardsburg, serves up some very hot and very delicious wings, April 2
from Paula Deen for Food Network
- 3 lbs. chicken wings
- 6 whole serrano chili peppers
- 10 whole jalapeno peppers
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 small bottle hot sauce
- ½ bottle Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tbsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 cup sriracha sauce
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. black pepper
- 1 bottle beer
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- In a blender, puree all of the ingredients.
- Place chicken wings in a bowl and pour mixture over. Let marinate overnight.
- Heat a Dutch oven with frying oil at 350 degrees. Remove wings from oil and carefully place them in the oven. Fry about 8 to 10 minutes until crisp.
- Take leftover marinade and bring to a hard boil in a small saucepan. After sauce is heated, put wings in the sauce, toss and serve.
4. American Pharaoh
It’s only fitting that this horse is owned by a stable in Egypt. Every party needs a dipping sauce, and this traditional Egyptian Salatit Zabadi is great over pita bread, crackers or veggie sticks.
from Kid World Citizen
- 2½ cups plain Greek yogurt
- 1 small cucumber, de-seeded
- 1 clove minced garlic
- Handful of chopped mint leaves
- Olive oil
- Drain the yogurt to keep it thick.
- Slice cucumber into thin pieces, then dice. Place in shallow bowl and sprinkle with salt.
- After an hour, drain the liquid from the cucumber and combine all ingredients.
Cupcakes are a party staple, and these award-winning frosted lemon cupcakes (from the Elkhart County 4-H Fair baking contest) give a delicious nod to the horse’s name.
These lemony cupcakes are easy to whip together and are nothing short of perfect for a classy Derby party or your next summer cookout.
Happy Derby Day!