Kentucky Derby Party at Sundial

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By: Shelly Sanders

I am so excited about the Kentucky Derby Party at Sundial this weekend! As a rule, I have never been an avid horse racing fan but the Kentucky Derby is different. Why? Big hats and stiff drinks, of course. What girl could ignore an event where the cocktails and accessories are as much of a tradition as the race itself?

This year, during the Kentucky Derby Party at Sundial, there will be a bonnet contest and Mint Juleps all day. I thought it would be fun to share with everyone a few crazy hat ideas and, of course, Mint Julep recipes.

Big Bonnets:

Here are a few great resources for fun and affordable headwear for the big day:

Zappos – This site doesn’t just have shoes. It also has a huge selection of hats, most under $50!

Dee’s Crafts Derby Hats – These hats are definitely pricier but they exemplify the derby style!

Etsy – This site, a haven for the vintage and handmade, has a super eclectic collection of hats. Prices are all over the board and it will take a little digging, but you’re guaranteed to find something unique!

If you’d rather get a little crafty, try this!

DIY Derby Hat

1. Start with fun floppy hat. You can opt for plain or get a little more daring with a patterned hat.

Floppy Hat for DIY Kentucky Derby Hat

Caption This one is from Target and is just $14.99

2. Next, gather a group of small, light items – like fake flowers or sea shells – and start to sort them out on the table into an arrangement you like.

3. Once you’ve decided on your design, transfer your decorations from the table to your hat using a glue gun. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect, you just to have fun.

DIY Flower Hat

4. As the final touch, use grosgrain or satin ribbon to rap the base of the hat and cover up any loose ends or rough edges.

5. Put it on and show it off!


Make your own Mint Julep:

I found this recipe on the Kentucky Derby website. It is super simple and you can substitute whatever whiskey you like best.

The Early Times Mint Julep Recipe

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Sprigs of fresh mint
  • Crushed ice
  • Early Times Kentucky Whisky
  • Silver Julep Cups

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Early Times Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

See you at the races everyone!

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This post was written by sundialmgr