There’s a lot to love about the Kentucky Derby, also known as the Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports: the traditions, the horses, the drama, the HATS. We felt strongly that this awesome event deserved its own Friday Five. Read on for our guide to everything Derby.
1. Cocktail. The Derby calls for a classic mint julep, the quintessential Southern cocktail. Learn how to make yours here. And go ahead and invest in some pretty julep cups. You can use them for flower arrangements, pencil cups – all kinds of things, really – later.
2. Appetizer. Ham biscuits are perfect Derby fare, and they’re totally doable – with flair! – on short notice. Buy frozen biscuits and a glazed ham from your favorite grocer; serve with homemade condiments like Blackberry Mustard and Lemon Herb Butter. Easy (and fancy!).
3. Outfit. This is a ladylike event, girls…no skinny jeans (gasp!), no slouchy tees. You need to bring it, even if you’re just watching the race at a friend’s house. Race day essentials include a bag big enough to hold your binoculars AND a pair of flats, pearls, and – duh – a huge hat. Still not sure? Check out Southern Living’s authoritative guide to Derby fashion here.
4. Speak the language. Click here for an informative guide to the new qualification system for the Derby and a list of the likeliest winners on Saturday.
5. Place your bets! Pick the horse with the most awesome name (we loved I’ll Have Another last year – this year we’re betting on Overanalyze) and make a little wager. Then sip on a mint julep and enjoy this American sporting tradition.