Here’s an idea for a Derby Day celebration which is quick and easy — invite a few friends over for this celebration then make reservations at one of the many BelowTheFalls restaurants for a “post” race supper.
For this quick Kentucky Derby celebration I suggest the traditional drink, one quick appetizer and a sweet snack.
Menu: Simple Syrup Mint Juleps, Ham & Cheese Biscuits and Spicy Pecans
I like this Mint Julep recipe best because it uses Simple Syrup. If you make the Simple Syrup in advance you only need to muddle the mint and mix with bourbon and crushed ice before the race. Boil one cup water with one half cup granulated sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Cool and refrigerate. Use this syrup cold.
Simple Syrup Mint Juleps: Serves 4 (traditional Low Ball glasses are nice but the drink is fun in Martini glasses, too)
20 Mint Sprigs (leaves) – I buy two packages in the herb section of the supermarket (Save 4 pretty leaves for garnish)
In a medium pitcher, muddle (break up with muddler or with a wooden spoon) mint leaves and ¼ cup simple syrup until they are broken and you can smell the mint. Add 10 ounces (1 ¼ cups) of Kentucky bourbon and gently stir. Fill four glasses with crushed or small cubed ice and divide the mixture evenly. Garnish with mint leaves.
Ham & Cheese Biscuits: Prepare a tube of refrigerator biscuits according to package directions and sprinkle about a tablespoon of shredded white cheddar on each biscuit the last five minutes. Cool slightly, split and fill each with slices of thinly shaven country ham from the deli. Place on colorful platter.
Spicy Pecans: In dry skillet, put one bag (12 ounces) pecan halves on medium heat tossing often until toasted. Note: Nuts go from toasted to ruined very quickly so do not walk away. Remove from heat and stir in ½ cup spicy pepper jelly. Spread on parchment paper to cool and serve in a pretty glass bowl.
Don’t forget your hat!
Have a yummy week!