If you are looking for something other than Cinco de Mayo celebrations this weekend, maybe the Kentucky Derby is more your style. Saturday, May 3, presents the 140th Kentucky Derby, which some describe as the most exciting two minutes in sports. There are several Kentucky Derby parties for women to dress up in spring dresses and giant hats and men to dress in their best seersuckers suits.
Turf Paradise: This huge, spring party has all the Kentucky Derby musts including mint juleps and a fashion judging of traditional Derby clothes of bonnets, sundresses and suits. There are a variety of choices, depending on your budget, including a “Top of the Park” suite that encompasses a view of the infield lakes and two racetracks, a Turf Club Buffet that includes private televisions for viewing, a Clubhouse and Players’ Buffet that get you closer to the horses and the cheering crowd and finally, a Party on the Rail that lets you get up close to the race. All areas include Kentucky Derby food and drinks. Don’t forget to stay for the Hat and Ensemble contest!
Bourbon Steak at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess: This party is comprised of a Kentucky Derby Brunch and Lawn Party. Live blues music will accompany the mint juleps, bourbon tastings, buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches, biscuits and gravy, crab Louie, shrimp and grits and truffled mac ‘n’ cheese. If you haven’t divulged enough, then continue on to dessert with lemon meringue tarts, red velvet cupcakes and chocolate bourbon pecan pies. You can also try signature cocktails including a “Seersucker” cocktail with bourbon, peach and mint, “The Derby” with bourbon, sweet vermouth, orange curaçao and lime or the “Kentucky Cousin” with Know Creek Bourbon Cherry Herring, lemon and black tea. Once you have eaten your fill, you can play horseshoes and lawn games, take pictures with four-time National Champion racehorse, Saul, or enjoy the women in their stylish hats and men in their suits.
The Phoenician in Scottsdale: Like the other two events, The Phoenician will host a Kentucky Derby Party with a special viewing party on the Orchid Lawn. The party will include flat screen TVs covering the pre-race festivities and the race itself. Women can compete in the best hat contest and men can win the best Southern fashion contest. Festivities will also include a Winner’s Circle raffle and a delicious Southern menu.
If you want a more low-key atmosphere to watch the race, visit one of these local restaurants to try a Kentucky Derby-inspired cocktail:
Phoenix Public Market Café: The TNT, $8, contains Arizona Distilling Company Copper City Bourbon, tamarind paste, pequin chili simple syrup and fresh-squeezed lemon
J&G Steakhouse: Whiskey Passion Fruit Fizz, $13, is composed of Passion Fruit Chili Bar syrup, bourbon and ginger ale
Crudo: No Name, $12, is made of Smooth Ambler Old Scout Bourbon, Montenegro, Bonal, St. Elizabeth allspice Dram and Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters, served in a chilled coupe
Central Bistro: Old Fashioned, $10, has Wild Turkey Rye, Demerara syrup and old fashion bitters
Del Frisco’s Grille: Tennessee Peach, $5, mixes Jack Daniel’s, fresh peaches, honey and fresh lime juice
American TapHouse: Mint Julep, $3, is a classic drink that can be paired with a delicious BBQ pulled pork sandwich
So whether you are watching the races or just want to try something new, check out these local events and specials this weekend!