Jan 23, 2018
Hosting the Derby

Corbin Gurkin Photo; Tara Guerard Soiree florals

image by Corbin Gurkin

It’s time again for the annual Running of the Roses, otherwise known as the Kentucky Derby. May 6th is right around the corner, so today we’re sharing just a few tips you can use at home for hosting an impromptu Derby Party.  First, keeping it simple and using store bought roses is an easy way to look like you’ve gone the extra mile. Break out the silver for this party and it will show your true hostess skills.

Bourbon Bar by Tara Guerard Soiree

image by Corbin Gurkin

This is definitely a party that you can easily do with items at home, it’s the time to make guests feel that Southern welcome and you don’t need to fuss about bringing in a lot of stuff. Throw a nice linen over any table in the house and it becomes a bar! I like using lamps or other items such as china bowls from around the house to dress them up. Bourbon is of course a staple for the Derby (i.e. Mint Juleps), but if you want to keep it simple, just setting up a bar with a variety of bourbons, whiskeys, and some mint julep fixings is all you need.

bar:lowcountry lemonade

image by Marni Rothschild

For the ladies who may not care for the darker stuff, having everything guests may want to enjoy is a golden rule of mine. You can serve  your own fun specialty cocktail called the “Running of the Roses”

1 part vodka; 2-3 parts lemonade (pink) to taste; 1 teaspoon of rose syrup; 1 strawberry slice for garnish

Water Collage

images by Corbin Gurkin

And, not wanting those who aren’t enjoying cocktails to feel left out, doing something special and simple with water is a nice touch- fresh cucumber slices or cute straws!

Koozies

image by Corbin Gurkin

I love the idea of having a trophy style silver cup holding koozies, or something else for guests to take away at the food table or bar.

Food Collage

images by Corbin Gurkin

Serving even the most casual and simple hors d’eouvres on silver can make such a difference. Serve easy but substantial food if guests will be partaking in lots of spirits. Chicken or ham biscuits, crab cakes, even sliced flatbreads are great. Something that guests pick up and graze on and keeps you out of the kitchen preparing items is the way to go!

floral crown

image by Corbin Gurkin

Even your best friend wants to attend the party a little floral crown for them would make a cute little detail!  Have fun, and Happy Derby!

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