21 food and drink recipes to celebrate the Kentucky Derby

Although the main attraction at the Kentucky Derby is surely the races, the best way to watch is with good eats and strong drinks in hand. 

Over race weekend, Churchill Downs will serve over 22,000 dining room guests. The official menu calls for 22,000 chicken breasts, 5,640 pounds of turkey, 7,600 pounds of potatoes and 8,200 pounds of pasta to feed the whole crowd!

21 PHOTOS
Kentucky Derby food and drink recipes
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Kentucky Derby food and drink recipes

Woodford Reserve Classic Mint Julep by Woodford Reserve

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Woodford Reserve
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 3 fresh mint leaves
  • crushed ice

Directions:

Express the essential oils in the mint and rub them inside the glass. To the same glass, add simple syrup, bourbon and crushed ice. Stir. Garnish with more ice and fresh mint.

Bourbon Peach Cooler by David Danielson, executive chef of Churchill Downs

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz bourbno
  • 1/4 oz peach schnapps
  • 2 oz peach nectar
  • 1 oz unsweetened ice tea
  • 1 dash peach bitters (optional)
  • peach slice, for garnish

Instructions:

In a shaker filled with ice, combine the bourbon, schnapps, peace nectar, iced tea and bitters. Shake the mixture vigorously and strain it into a tall glass with ice. Garnish with the peach slice and serve.

Kentucky Mule by David Danielson, executive chef of Churchill Downs

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz bourbon
  • 3 oz ginger beer
  • Squeeze of 1 lime wedge (1/8 tsp)
  • Lime wedge, for garnish

Instructions:

Combine the bourbon, ginger beer and a squeeze of lime in a rocks glass filled with ice. Stir the mixture, garnish with a lim wedge and serve. 

Pimento Cheese Muffins by Food & Wine

Get the recipe here.

Meatball, Cucumber & Mint Skewers by David Danielson, executive chef of Churchill Downs

Get the recipe here.

Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs by Life With The Crust Cut Off | Parrish Ritchie

Get the recipe here.

Chicken Wings Grilled and Glazed by David Danielson, executive chef of Churchill Downs

Get the recipe here.

Herbed Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches by Best Bites

Get the recipe here.

Squash Blossoms with Pimento Ricotta by Food & Wine

Get the recipe here.

Southern Fried Okra by Kitchen Daily Editors

Get the recipe here.

Oven Baked BBQ Brisket by Best Bites

Get the recipe here.

Pork Chops and Sugar Snap Peas with Mint Julep Glaze by bon appetit    

Get the recipe here.

Barbecued Baby Back Ribs with Apple Bourbon Barbecue Sauce by Curtis Stone

Get the recipe here.

Hibiscus Julep by Old Forester

Ingredients:

Directions

Rub 8-10 mint leaves inside a double old fashioned glass. Add bourbons, liqueur, and syrup. Pack with crushed ice. Garnish with 3 generous sprigs of mint. *Make sure to slap mint. Make sure to insert straw into ice near mint. For the Hibiscus Syrup: Bring 1 cup water to boil, reduce heat, add 2 hibiscus tea bags, steep 15 minutes, discard. Dissolve 1 cup sugar into tea. Store in refrigerator.

Sweet Potato Cornmeal Waffles with Bourbon Cream and Pecan Butter by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen | Susan Palmer

Get the recipe here.

Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Bourbon-Rosemary Sauce by Food & Wine

Get the recipe here.

Kentucky Jam Cake by Kitchen Daily Editors

Get the recipe here.

Upside Down Peach Bourbon Cake by Chez Us | Denise Woodward and Lenny Ferreira

Get the recipe here.

Smoky Shrimp and Grits by Food & Wine

Get the recipe here.

Bourbon Peaches and Coconut Cream Pancakes with Bourbon Cream Syrup by Half Baked Harvest | Tieghan Gerard

Get the recipe here.

Rose Cider Julep 

  • 4-5 oz Angry Orchard Rosé Cider
  • 0.5 oz Bourbon
  • 0.5 oz Creme de Cassis
  • 0.5 oz Simple Syrup
  • 6-8 Mint Leaves

  1. Muddle mint in the bottom of a Julep Tin.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and then fill the Julep Tin with crushed ice.
  3. Garnish with a lavish mint bouquet. 
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However, if you can't make it to Kentucky and you're planning to throw your own viewing party, you can still eat like you're there with some easy recipes by Churchill Downs executive chef David Danielson and more.

Of course, the mint julep is a staple. Woodford Reserve is the presenting sponsor and official bourbon of the 145th Kentucky Derby—mix bourbon with simple syrup and mint, pour over ice and you're good to go!

Other race day classics you can make on your own include pork loin, chicken wings and pimento cheese muffins. 

So, get your bets ready and check out our favorite Kentucky Derby-inspired recipes in the slideshow above!

22 PHOTOS
Celebrities at the Kentucky Derby through the years
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Celebrities at the Kentucky Derby through the years

Kim Kardashian in 2009

(Photo by Jason Kempin/WireImage)

Miranda Lambert in 2014

(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Gayle King in 2014

(Photo by Stephen J. Cohen/WireImage)

Dannielynn Birkhead and Larry Birkhead in 2017

(Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Churchill Downs)

Lindsey Vonn in 2011

(Photo by Michael Hickey/WireImage)

Angela Bassett in 2014

(Photo by Stephen J. Cohen/WireImage)

Katie Couric in 2017

(Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Churchill Downs)

Bethenny Frankel in 2016

(Photo by Steve Mack/Getty Images)

Lindsey Vonn in 2016

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Churchill Downs)

Kid Rock in 2013

(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon)

Kris Jenner and Kim Kardashian in 2009

(Photo by Jason Kempin/WireImage)

Elizabeth Chambers and Armie Hammer in 2013

(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/WireImage)

Lauren Conrad in 2013

(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/WireImage)

Kate Upton in 2016

(Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Churchill Downs)

Giada De Laurentiis in 2017

(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Churchill Downs)

Susan Geston and Jeff Bridges in 2017 

(Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Twentieth Century Fox)

Star Jones in 2014

(Photo by Stephen J. Cohen/WireImage)

Joey Fatone in 2017

(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Churchill Downs)

"Vanderpump Rules" stars Jax Taylor Brittany Cartwright, Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval in 2017

(Photo by Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images)

Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir in 2016

(Photo by Jeff Moreland/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)

Josh Henderson in 2014

(Photo by Stephen J. Cohen/WireImage)

Pete Wentz in 2014

(Photo by Stephen J. Cohen/WireImage)

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