How to celebrate Kentucky Derby in NYC and wherever you call home

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You don’t have to be in Louisville, Kentucky, to get in the Kentucky Derby spirit — you can don your seersucker suit or outrageous hat on May 4 at a number of city bars and restaurants.

Live race coverage starts at 2:30 p.m., so whether you’re all about the mint juleps, Southern eats, the horses, or just the hats, here’s where to watch the “greatest two minutes in sports.” As always, your finest Derby day attire is a must.

Where

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To celebrate this year’s Kentucky Derby, Refinery Rooftop, Winnie’s Jazz Bar, and Refinery Hotel are hosting their annual, hotel-wide Derby party. Enjoy four hours of open bar spread across three different venues and three unique parties. Guests can indulge in classic Mint Juleps, Millionaire’s Row champagne bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, and more as they dance to live music and several live DJs.

Just before the race, the best-dressed guest will be rewarded with a trip to next year’s Kentucky Derby! As always, Refinery’s Derby Party will be filled with surprise entertainment and a hidden speakeasy. Tickets are $150 and can be purchased online here.

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For all the derby day action, The Wilson is showing the race on a big screen projector on the front patio and several 80” high definition TVs throughout the venue. For just $60, horse racing fans can enjoy four hours of open bar, a live DJ, pop-a-shot, giant jenga, and more! The Wilson is located in INNSiDE by Meliá New York NoMad and features year-round patio for, weather permitting, al fresco Derby viewing. These bargain tickets can be purchased online here and table requests are available by emailing reservations@ingoodcompany.com.

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Boulton & Watt is creating the ultimate race day experience for all those who couldn’t make it to Louisville this year. The bar will be transformed into a makeshift Churchill Downs, complete with artificial turf, inflatable horses, and derby duds. Bulleit Bourbon Juleps and Ketel One Botanical Spritzes will be just $8 from 3pm until the end of the race and there will be a $100 Boulton & Watt gift card awarded to the best hat in the house! Reservations can be made by calling 646–490–6004.

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Playboy Club Presents their first Annual Kentucky Derby Party Hosted by the world famous Bunnies!

Complimentary Open Bar 3pm-4pm
Passed Hors D’oeuvres 3pm-4pm

Derby Will Be Shown on 9 TVs & 110 Inch Projector

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In celebration of the Kentucky Derby, Ocean Prime New York is offering the “Derby Day” cocktail, a customizable Mint Julep, available Saturday, May 4 during the viewing party this Saturday from 3:30 pm — 7:00 pm only. Guests are encouraged to come dressed in their best ‘Derby Attire’ for step and repeat photo opportunities and to enter the “Best Dressed” contest for a chance to win a complimentary bottle of Hudson Whiskey.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Guest’s choice bourbon
  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1/4 oz Disaronno
  • 4–5 dashes or 1/2 dropper of Angostura Bitters
  • 8 mint leaves
  • Preparation: Combine all ingredients in mixing tin. Add ice and shake vigorously to integrate mint and combine flavors. Strain over crushed ice into glass.

How

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.75 oz. Rabbit Hole Rye

.25 oz. Pear Brandy

.25 oz. yellow Chartreuse

.5 oz. Carrot Syrup

.5 oz. Lemon Juice

Method: Shake/double Strain — top with Sparkling Wine

Glass: Coupe

Garnish: Pear fan

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2 oz. Pink Peppercorn Infused Rabbit Hole Bourbon & Gin Blend (50/50)

.75 oz. Ginger Syrup (Made with freshly juiced Ginger Root)

.5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

1 dash of Absinthe

4 oz. Seltzer Water

Method: short shake/ strain — add seltzer then ice

Glass: Collins Glass

Garnish: Thai Basil Leaves (Or other fresh herb stem)

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1.5 oz Rabbit Hole Rye Barrel Finished Gin

.75 Homemade Kentucky Tonic Syrup (ingredients avail!)

Method: Mix well and pour over rocks into Collins glass

Top with soda

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1.5 oz Rabbit Hole Kentucky Straight Bourbon

.5 oz apple Brandy

.75oz Corngeat

.5 oz Lemon Juice

Method: Shake well and pour into Coupe Glass

Garnish with Popped Cornshoot bound by Corn Husk

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Recipe:

  • 1.5 parts Woodford Reserve
  • 2 parts Lemonade
  • 1 part cranberry juice
  • Crushed Ice
  • Lemon peel for a lemon twist to garnish
  • Directions: In a glass mix Woodford Reserve, lemonade and Cranberry juice with a bar spoon. Add liquid mixture into a copper cup, add crushed ice to the top of the glass & serve with a lemon twist.
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Recipe:

  • 2oz Woodford Reserve
  • 1oz water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 sprigs fresh mint
  • Crushed ice

Directions:

  • In a metal julep cup, rub mint around the inside of the cup to express the oils and throw it in the bottom. Add Woodford Reserve, Water and sugar into the cup and stir with a barspon. Add Crushed ice till it reached the top of the cup. Garnish with mint.
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Created by Allan Roth, Glenfiddich Ambassador

Ingredients:

2 parts Glenfiddich 14 Year Old Bourbon Barrel Reserve

Bruised mint Leaves

¼ part simple syrup

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Method: Build with crushed ice and garnish with mint sprigs in a traditional julep cup.

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Created by Tim Herlihy, National Ambassador for Tullamore D.E.W.

Ingredients:
2 parts Tullamore D.E.W. Original

½ part fresh lemon juice

¾ part rich demerara syrup

8 mint leaves

2 lemon wedges

3 brandied cherries

Method: Add Tullamore D.E.W., Lemon Juice

and syrup to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain

over glass filled with fresh pebble ice.

Garnish with lemon wedges, mint leaves

and cherries.

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Created by Mattias Horseman, Hendrick’s Gin Ambassador

Ingredients:
1 ½ parts Hendrick’s Gin

½ part Ancho Verde

½ part kiwi pineapple syrup

¼ part honey

½ part fresh lime juice

1 dash Bitterman’s Tiki Bitters

Method: Add ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a teacup filled with ice. Garnish with mint leaves.

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Created by Charlotte Voisey, William Grant & Sons Director of Brand Advocacy

Ingredients:

2 parts Fistful of Bourbon

½ part grapefruit oleo

½ part fresh lemon juice

10 loose mint leaves

Method: Combine ingredients and shake well. Strain over crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and grapefruit twist.

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Created by Nick Fogel, Beverage Director, The Late Late Bar & Spirit Grocer

Ingredients:

1 oz Proper №12

.75 oz Lillet Blanc

.75 oz Lavender Syrup

Top with Sparkling Wine

Garnish Lavender Branch

Lavender Syrup

2 cups Water

2 cups White Sugar

3 Lemon Twists

3 tsp Loose Cooking Lavender

Directions:

Combine in a sauce pan and simmer for 10 min.

Allow to cool then strain into a glass bottle.

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2 oz Hillrock Solera Bourbon

1 oz amantillilado sherry

1/2 oz Benedictine

1/2 oz Ancho Reyes chili liquor

Rim rocks glass with crushed dried Ancho chilis (agave will hold best as well as adding a sweetness to the balance the capsaicin). Combine ingredients in shaker and give a short stir, fill the rocks glass with ice and pour the contents over the shaker over top and garnish with an orange peel

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The Official Drink of the Kentucky Oaks

1 ¼ oz. Finlandia Classic Vodka

1 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix

¼ oz. Triple Sec

3 oz. Cranberry Juice

Combine ingredients over crushed ice in an Official Oaks Lily souvenir glass. Garnish with a fresh blackberry and lemon peel.

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1 ¼ oz. Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka

4 oz. Sparkling Grapefruit Water

Grapefruit Slice

Combine ingredients over crushed ice. Garnish with a grapefruit slice.

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Created by Allan Roth, Glenfiddich Ambassador

Ingredients:

2 parts Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14 Year Old

1 part fresh grapefruit juice

½ part honey syrup

Grapefruit twist, to garnish

Method: Shake Glenfiddich 14 Year Old Bourbon Barrel Reserve, grapefruit juice and honey syrup over ice. Strain into a coupe. Express a grapefruit twist over the cocktail and drop in.

Written by

Tony Bowles is one of the youngest sought out journalists in the media world. He focuses on lifestyle, travel, entertainment, food and more! Based out of NYC.

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