Having planned out numerous Cinco de Mayo menus, let’s quickly complete the weekend with a Louisville-inspired meal.
Cocktail: Mint Julep of course
In a frosted mug or official Derby Julep cup (yours truly is lucky to have many of these), muddle a half dozen mint leaves, 1/2 oz of simple syrup, and 2 tsps. water. Top with crushed ice, then add 2 1/2 oz. Bourbon. Top with 2 more mint leaves and sip with a metal straw.
It’s nobody’s favorite cocktail, more a refreshing way to take a Bourbon shot. Do…not…skimp on the mint! And make sure the Bourbon mingles plenty with the simple syrup or you’re in for a stiff drink.
I’ve never had beer cheese, but it’s supposed to be a Derby staple. You can’t go wrong with a recipe like this for an appetizer.
For a twist, let’s add some levity with a spinach, bacon, and blue cheese salad, tied together by a Bourbon vinaigrette from one of Louisville’s most exciting chefs, Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia.
Next cocktail, the Seelbach Cocktail from Louisville’s Seelbach Hotel. In a Champagne flute, build 3/4 oz. Bourbon, 1/2 oz. Triple Sec, 7 dashes of Angostura bitters, 7 dashes Peychaud’s Butters, and top with 4 oz. chilled Champagne. Garnish with an orange twist.
For an entrée, the definitive Hot Brown sandwich from the Brown Hotel itself. It’s healthy, right?
Dessert: Why of course, Derby Pie! It’s the same thing as “Not Derby Pie,” essentially a pecan pie with walnuts instead and the addition of chocolate chips.
To finish? Keep that Bourbon motif going with a snifter of Maker’s Mark or Woodford Reserve. Hopefully you can cheers to your pick winning the Derby!
Happy Derby Day Everyone!