Delegate the Derby – Part 2

No Derby party is complete without a fabulous bar set-up. Now that we’ve shared two tablescape ideas with you (read Part 1 here), it’s time to talk about the cocktail bar. It was actually really fun pulling together all the details and accessories to style our Derby-themed bar. For décor we used items that I already owned that we had received as gifts or purchased over time. The obvious backdrop for our table was a large horse and jockey painting that Paul and I were gifted shortly after we were married. It’s one of our most prized possessions, and I especially love showcasing it every year around the Derby.

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We once again used linens and napkins from Pomegranate for the bar, as they offer great equestrian-themed items that are stylish and that I’d actually use year-round. Their linens come in various sizes, and it’s a great place to start if you don’t know which direction you want to go with your theme.

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I used one of Paul’s silver golf trophies as one of the “vases” for the table (it was nice to finally have use for this- ha!), and just filled it full of red roses from Trader Joe’s. I did this with one more sterling silver mint julep cup, and that just about completed the décor.

For food, since this was more of a grazing station, all we needed was one of Callie’s Cocktail Party Kits, which comes with everything you need for snacks and small bites. The mini ham biscuits are shipped on ice (frozen), so all you have to do is heat them up in the oven before you’re ready to serve them. Cocktail pecans, cheese crisps and their signature pimento cheese are also included, and are ALL delicious. Right now, they also offer a limited edition Derby Days Kit, that includes Callie’s black pepper bacon biscuits, one container of their signature pimento cheese, one of their fiery pimento cheese and some of their cocktail pecans. It’s a one-stop-shop for light bites, and I’m hooked on all their offerings now if you can’t already tell!

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To add something sweet to the bar, we included some of Summer’s Sweet Shop iced cookies. She of course made them to match our theme, and there really is nothing cuter or easier to eat. She sends them individually wrapped so they’re great to stick in boxed lunches or to give out as favors. No mess and an added element of décor too!

 

Finally, a necessity at any Derby party is of course the classic Mint Julep beverage. Thankfully, my partner for my Derby parties shoot this year, Lauren of “Going for Grace,” is an excellent hostess and cook. She provided the best (and easiest) recipes for a classic Mint Julep cocktail AND “mocktail,” which are both listed below. We purchased some darling disposable cocktail stirrers from Etsy, added some garnish to the tray (another wedding gift), and the set-up was complete. I love how sophisticated but fun this bar turned out to be!

Mint Julep:
2.5 oz bourbon
3 mint leaves
1 oz mint simple syrup*
Crushed ice
Place mint leaves and simple syrup into the bottom of a glass and muddle well.
Fill a julep cup with crushed ice, pour the mint and syrup mixture over top, and fill with bourbon.
Garnish with additional mint leaves.
*Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, large bunch mint leaves in small sauce pan. Bring to a boil then lower heat to simmer for about 10 minutes.
Mint Julep Mocktail: 
4 oz ginger ale
2 oz lemon simple syrup*
3 mint leaves
Crushed ice
Place mint leaves and lemon simple syrup into the bottom of a glass and muddle well.
Fill a julep cup with crushed ice, pour the mint and syrup mixture over top, and fill with ginger ale.
Garnish with additional mint leaves.
*Combine juice of 4 lemons, 1/2 cup sugar in small sauce pan. Bring to a boil then lower heat to simmer for about 10 minutes.

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