Where to watch the Kentucky Derby (preferably with a mint julep)?

kentucky derby from crowdNick emails:

[A]re there any bars or restaurants around here doing anything special for the Kentucky Derby this weekend? I haven't really heard anything and can't find anything out there already.

The derby is this Saturday. We'll adjust Nick's question a bit to cover local places that are generally good for watching the Kentucky Derby -- because of atmosphere, drinks, the crowd, whatever.

Bonus question: mint juleps: Hollie asked on Twitter for a good place to get a mint julep. Daniel B said Hattie's or dp -- suggestions with which we concur. Dominick Purnomo responded: "We make our juleps with spearmint, Blanton's Bourbon, CRUSHED Ice & serve in silver julep cups." Sounds like a plan.

Got a suggestion for Nick and/or Hollie? Please share!

photo: Flickr user boboroshi


I can highly recommend the mint julep's at Hattie's in Saratoga.

I'm excited for donning my derby attire and checking out dp (since he made the point of stating - crushed ice, which is crucial). I've never been there before. I don't know if the race will be shown at the bar? but I like to have a little bit of my southerner pride in me that day and i'm a big fan of bourbon.

However, it's sure to be an interesting May 5th. The battle between Dapper Derby & Cinco de Drinko in Albany is going to be an odd visual juxtaposition at times :)

Try Forty-One in Lansingburgh:

Sigh. This makes me want to have a Derby party more than ever (my hostessing strength before moving to ALB). Next year!

My Julep process, time-tested through eight annual Derby parties:
Make a simple syrup and steep spearmint leaves in it overnight in the fridge.
Just before post time, crush lots of ice. LOTS of ice.
Fill up a julep-sized cup with the ice. (Silver cups are nice, but not necessary; just get one that's the right size. Don't use a regular highball, for heaven's sake.)
Pour in a generous shot of Bourbon (your choice - I use Maker's)
Top with your mint syrup.
Place a short straw in the cup and use it to give the drink a FAST stir, this will generate condensation on the outside of the cup so you know your drink is cold and well-mixed.
Place a sprig of mint in your cup and serve!

Enjoy the Fastest Two Minutes in Sports, everybody!!!

Is the Mint Julep the “Peeps” of cocktails? “Peeps” are those sickeningly -sweet, baby chick-shaped marshmallow treats only seen in Easter Baskets on Easter Sunday. For the other 364 days of the year they are actively avoided. Think about it, Mint Juleps are sweeter than most cocktails and are generally only imbibed on one Saturday in early May. On the other 51 Saturdays every year, some other – any other – cocktail is the drink of choice, even in Louisville. You be the judge. Here are four vintage Mint Julep recipes: http://thevodkaparty.com/the-mint-julep-is-it-the-peeps-of-cocktails/

Sperry's new Patio and Garden Bar is debuting and opens at 4:30. Also, they will have $5 Mint Juleps, Margaritas, and Mojitos. And they're televising the Derby!

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