I'm not a huge sports fan. I don't care if I ever get tickets to the Super Bowl. I won't be disappointed if I never attend the World Series. Wimbledon doesn't inspire envy in me. And as much as I'd enjoy it, I have no hope of ever getting to the Masters. But oh, oh, oh I REALLY want to go to the Kentucky Derby! Now I truly like horse races. But even more than that I like the traditions that go with the derby. This Saturday marks the 135th Run for the Roses and though I won't be there, I've prepared a little tablescape for while I watch and dream of mint juleps and picture hats.
I set the small sideboard in the breakfast room with mint juleps and cheese straws, two southern favorites and "must-haves" for the Kentucky Derby. I have had these monogrammed silver julep cups since I married. They are one of my favorite entertaining accessories. I've used them for bloody mary's, fruited tea, mimosas and flower arrangements. They keep the drink so ice cold that they form tiny little water droplets on the outside! They are sitting on a silver gallery tray. Did you know red roses are the official flower for the derby winner's garland. I treat myself to fresh flowers almost every week---from the 1/2 price container at my Kroger's florist! And of course, paper napkins won't do for this event. These are cutwork linen luncheon napkins perfect for a snack while watching on tv.
If you want to sip on a mint julep while cheering on your favorite horse, this is the recipe we use: Put two sprigs of fresh mint in the bottom of a glass. Add one rounded teaspoon of powdered sugar and a few drops of water. Use a wood spoon or muddler and thoroughly "bruise" mint, sugar, and water. Add a jigger of your favorite bourbon. Pack the glass to the rim with finely crushed ice. Add another jigger of whiskey and let it trickle to the bottom of the glass. Top with a sprig of fresh mint.
Now if you decide to make these, hold on to your hat and while you're at it visit Susan and all the other tablescapers at http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/ See you at the derby!