Channel your southern hospitality and charm and host a posh Bourbon Tasting Kentucky Derby Party to celebrate the biggest race of the year!
The Kentucky Derby is an exhilarating horse race that is held on the first Saturday in May every year. What better way to celebrate the most exciting 2-minutes in sports than donning bowties, big hats, and sipping Bourbon.
That’s right, it’s time to sound the trumpet, heart the thunder of hooves, and the roar of the crowd. We are off to a day at the races!
This year I teamed up with Oriental Trading to celebrate the Run for the Roses with a posh Bourbon Tasting Kentucky Derby Party where everything from the guests to the drinks will look dapper in their fancy bowties and hats.
Build a Bourbon Tasting Bar
One of the most quintessential Derby traditions is sipping bourbon or enjoying a mint julep at the race. Bring this tradition to life with a festive Bourbon Bar and tasting party.
Guests will love sampling different types of bourbon. Each guest was served a flight of three different types of bourbon and encouraged to. Guests rank their favorites, just like we did at this Beer Tasting Party.
Remember the Roses
In 1904, the red rose became the Kentucky Derby’s official flower so it is only natural that this floral bloom is the star of the party. Hence the reason the Derby is also referred to as “The Run For the Roses.” Roses are a must-have decoration and an easy way to spruce up your space for the party. I kept things simple with an artificial grass table runner, vases of roses, and a few items from the Kentucky Derby Decorating Kit.
Treat Em’ to Southern Fare
In between tastings, allow guests to grab a bite and feast on classic Derby fare, like Hot Brown Sandwiches, Benedictine Spread, and ooey-gooey Pecan Bourbon Balls.
Be sure to provide stylish Derby plates and paper products to make entertaining easy! I layered a variety of patterned and colorful plates to create a festive table setting.
Dress to Impress
Channel your inner Southerner and don a chic hat or bowtie. On race day, guests commonly get dressed in their best dresses, fascinators or vibrant suits and ties. To really feel like you’re at Churchill Downs, encourage your guests to dress the part.
Make your own DIY Kentucky Derby hat for less than $10 with this simple tutorial from my friend Haley at Design Improvised.
Place Your Bets, Pick a Winner
Part of the fun on Derby Day is betting on which horse will cross the finish line first. Add a little competition to your Derby bash with betting cards, for guests to make friendly wagers on the race. You can create a DIY version yourself, or purchase the Derby Place Your Bet Game Cards from Oriental Trading.
You can bet you and your guests will have a good time at this bourbon-themed Kentucky Derby!