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How to Host a Kentucky Derby-Themed Party

The Kentucky Derby is right around the corner. Slated for Saturday, May 6th, if you haven’t already started planning for your Kentucky Derby-themed cookout, there’s not a moment more to waste. At Nick’s of Calvert, we have everything you need to plan the perfect party, from pre-made appetizers to the freshest ingredients for cooking to liquor and more. Visit our store today to stock up and find everything on your grocery list. In the meantime, read on for these tips on how to host a Kentucky Derby-themed party—

Get Invites Out in Advance

Since there’s less than a month to go before it’s derby day, you want to prep your invites now. Don’t wait a minute longer to get those out! For expediency, consider using an online invite, such as Paperless Post or Evite. In fact, you can even just text your invite list to get it on people’s calendars ASAP. Make sure when you send the invites out you also request that guests RSVP at least a week in advance. This way, you’ll know exactly how much food to prepare and how many people you’ll need to accommodate. 

Set Your Dress Code

One of the most fun things about hosting a Kentucky Derby-themed party is the dress code! While you can of course do what you’d like—it is your party, after all—ladies typically wear pastel-colored dresses that are flowy and floral. Men also tend to wear pastels, but may also . choose bold separates. Suits are optional for men, but encouraged. Of course, the hats are where all of the fun really is! In fact, if you’re not familiar with the Kentucky Derby, then you should tune in just to watch the Kentucky Derby hat parade, which has been called, “The greatest two minutes in sports.” 

Plan Your Menu

Once you know who you’re inviting and how many guests to plan on (and what they’ll wear!), it’s now time to think about the menu. When it comes to menu planning, there are a lot of options available to you, but you probably want to add some traditional Southern dishes to the mix. A few popular Southern dishes that you might consider include:

  • Burgoo. Burgoo is a stew that’s similar to an Irish Mulligan’s stew. This recipe takes time and care to prepare, so don’t choose it if you’re in a rush! Featuring lima beans, corn, carrots, onion, celery, and usually at least three different types of meat, this is a favorite dish that’s sure to please if you do have the time for it! 
  • Bourbon balls. Your menu wouldn’t be complete without something sweet on the table, and bourbon balls are the perfect treat. These sweet, simple desserts are made from butter, bourbon, pecans, chocolate, and powdered sugar. 
  • Derby pie. Another delicious dessert to have on the table—and one that’s appropriately named at that—is Derby pie. Also made with bourbon, derby pie is made from chocolate chips, eggs, and flour. 
  • Kentucky hot browns. Moving forward with more savory dishes, Kentucky hot browns are always a crowd favorite. A Kentucky hot brown is a type of open-faced sandwich, and features sliced turkey breast, tomato, and bacon, is smothered with a cheese- and cream-based sauce, and then is baked! Yummy! 

Of course, these are far from the only delicious Southern foods you could incorporate. Get creative and try something new! 

Buy the Freshest Ingredients

In addition to all of the delicious (and, ahem, admittedly a little bit unhealthy) dishes above, you can also incorporate a fresh salad or two and some fresh fruit. To get all of the ingredients you need, from seasonal produce to the best cuts of meats and everything in between, head to Nick’s of Calvert. When you buy fresh, high-quality ingredients for your recipes, food tastes better and is better for you. 

Don’t Forget the Drinks

A Kentucky Derby party just wouldn’t be complete without drinks. Whether you’re buying liquor, wine, or beer, or are planning to make mocktails, Nick’s of Calvert has all of the liquor, mixers, and more that you’ll need! You’ll also find cups, plates, and utensils that are disposable so that cleaning up from your party is just as easy as preparing for it. 

Visit Nick’s of Calvert Today 

At Nick’s of Calvert, we love a good Kentucky Derby-themed party and we hope that you do too. If you’re looking for fresh ingredients and menu items that everyone will love, we have you covered. Visit our store today or call us directly to learn more about our prepared foods and fine selection. We look forward to seeing you!