It’s Derby Day! One of my favorite days. Having said that, I have to admit that I have never been to the actual Kentucky Derby. But like many of us, it is on my bucket list.
Growing up fairly poor, the idea of dressing up in fancy hats, drinking Mint Juleps and betting on horses didn’t come from experience. It came from my poor kids travel agent, the TV! Back then it was a 12 inch black and white TV and I remember watching in awe as Audrey Hepburn made her debut into society at the Derby in My Fair Lady. Ohh how I wanted to be her!
Fast forward through two dozen Derby parties and at least as many hats, I still get excited on Derby Day. I happen to love horse racing, mostly because my Great Uncle Connie (Con for short, I wonder if the pun was intended) was a driver by day and a gambler by, well, every other moment of the day. He taught me his secret to betting, “Sugar plum, keep your day job. You win some, you loose some. Just keep playing. It’s not always about the money, it’s the thrill.” And he was right. I have a little of his DNA, of course winning is the best, but it really is the thrill you get in your stomach from the time you lay down your wager until the race is over that makes it fun.
So what do you do if you can’t attend the Kentucky Derby in person. Well throw a Derby Party of course! Hanging out with your friends, dressing up in crazy hats, drinking strange drinks, eating finger sandwiches and bottle cap betting. Can’t beat it.
Although I can’t always be with my tribe on Derby Day, I am lucky enough to get to spend it with my Tavern family. And I’m thrilled that our chefs got in the spirit this year with some great traditional Derby food specials, some I had never tried before. Like the Nashville Hot Sliders. I’ve never had Nashville Hot Chicken before and OMG this is my new favorite and a reason to add Nashville to my bucket list. Deb who just came back from Nashville said ours rivals anything she had in Nashville. Give those bad boys a try.
Today we will be serving up and you really have to try:
Fried Green Tomato Stack
Fried green tomatoes, stacked with fresh vine ripe tomatoes,
mozzarella and basil with a balsamic drizzle
Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs
Our house made deviled eggs filled with warm pimento cheese
topped with bacon jam, served four to an order – great for sharing!
Kentucky Hot Brown
Toasted Sourdough bread topped with roasted turkey, bacon and queso served with your choice of one side
Nashville Hot Sliders
Crispy chicken tenders tossed in a traditional Nashville hot oil served 2 sliders to an order with your choice of one side (These are authentic Nashville Hot Sliders and as such are HOT!)
And let’s not forget Bourbon! We’ve spent a week (Bourbon Week that is) celebrating bourbon at Flagler Tavern all leading up the Kentucky Derby and we are featuring the official bourbon of the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby, Woodford Reserve. On the rocks, neat, in an Old Fashioned or Julep, this is the schnizzle. If you aren’t sure if you like bourbon try it with lemonade. Some may say its a shame to hide the nuanced flavors of this bourbon, but I say pucker up.
After the race is over, and I’ve collected my winnings (lol) don’t forget to grab a bottle of Woodford Reserve to take home with you. We have a limited number of 145th Kentucky Derby Flagler Tavern Etched bottles for purchase to take home with you. They make a great Father’s Day gift or just fun to collect for your home bar. And we will be giving away tshirts and other fun Woodford and Derby swag with each bottle.
Have a great Derby Day. May the odds be in your favor.
Food for Thought —