The Kentucky Derby is a thoroughbred horse race held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, on the first Saturday in May. The race is known as the “Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” due to its fast-paced and thrilling nature, as well as its reputation as one of the most prestigious horse races in the world. The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the Triple Crown, a series of three prestigious horse races that also includes the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.
The Kentucky Derby was first run in 1875, making it one of the oldest sporting events in the United States. The race is held at Churchill Downs, a historic racetrack in Louisville that has been hosting the Kentucky Derby for over 140 years. The race is run at a distance of 1 1/4 miles and is open to three-year-old thoroughbred horses.
The Kentucky Derby is more than just a horse race – it is a cultural phenomenon that draws visitors from all over the world to Louisville. The event is famous for its high fashion, with attendees dressing up in their finest attire and sporting elaborate hats. The race is also known for its mint juleps, a traditional southern cocktail made with bourbon, sugar, and mint, which is served in a silver cup and is considered the official drink of the Kentucky Derby.
The Kentucky Derby has also become a major social event, with parties and events taking place in the days leading up to the race. The Kentucky Derby Festival, which takes place in the weeks leading up to the race, includes a wide variety of events such as a hot air balloon race, a marathon, a steamboat race, and a large parade. The Kentucky Oaks, a race for three-year-old fillies held on the day before the Kentucky Derby, is also a major part of the festivities.
The Kentucky Derby is not only a beloved sporting event, but also a symbol of Kentucky’s rich cultural heritage and history. The race has been celebrated in song, literature, and film, and has become an iconic part of American culture. From its thrilling race to its elaborate fashion and rich traditions, the Kentucky Derby is a unique and unforgettable experience that captures the spirit of the American South.
If you are fortunate enough to be able to attend the Kentucky Derby then we hope you have a great time. If not, why not try and join in at home? Watch the event on television whilst sipping mint juleps.
Here’s a classic recipe for mint juleps:
- 2 ounces Kentucky bourbon
- 1 ounce simple syrup (made with equal parts sugar and water)
- 4-5 fresh mint leaves
- Crushed ice
- Mint sprigs, for garnish
- Place the mint leaves in the bottom of a julep cup or a tall glass. Gently press the mint leaves with a muddler or the back of a spoon to release their oils.
- Add the simple syrup and a small amount of crushed ice to the glass, and stir until the simple syrup is fully incorporated.
- Add more crushed ice to fill the glass, and pour in the bourbon.
- Stir gently until the glass becomes frosty on the outside.
- Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and serve immediately.
Note: If you don’t have a julep cup, a tall glass or a metal cup can be used instead. To make the drink extra cold and refreshing, you can also freeze the glass or cup ahead of time. Enjoy!