The Kentucky Derby is on Saturday, and whether you want to go out for mint juleps and hot browns or you’d prefer to make a drink at home, we’ve got options for you.
Traditional: At The Gage, Thomas Mooneyham makes a classic mint julep that’s served in a silver cup with mint sprigs. The julep is made with muddled sugar, mint leaves, crushed ice, and Marker’s Mark.
Free Snacks: Those mint juleps will make you hungry. Watch the Derby at South Water Kitchen, and if you’re wearing a hat, you’ll get free deviled eggs topped with bacon, chives, and mustard “caviar.” The restaurant will also be raffling off a free dinner for two to the guest with the best hat.
Parties: III Forks is having a rooftop party Saturday from 2:00 to 6:00 pm that includes a Derby hat contest, mint juleps in copper cups, and complimentary Kentucky Fried Chicken Wings and seasonal popcorn. American Junkie is having a party starting at 3:00 pm and will be showing the Derby on the big screen at 5:25 pm. There will be mint juleps and special menu items, and a portion of the julep proceeds will benefit PAWS Chicago.
Kentucky Food: Little Market Brasserie takes the Kentucky theme a step further by offering hot brown sandwiches, open-faced turkey sandwiches with bacon and Mornay sauce, and Derby pie, a chocolate and walnut pie. There will also be prizes if you choose the winning horse.
Stay Home: Ada St. sent us their recipe for Bramble On, a play on the classic mint julep, which is also available at the restaurant. Here it is…
- 2 oz. Broker's Gin (or another gin, if you prefer)
- 0.75 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 3 teaspoons raspberry jam
- Shake all these ingredients together in a shaker and strain over ice.
- Finish with a healthy bouquet of fresh mint.
1664 North Ada Street, Chicago
24 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago
South Water Kitchen
225 North Wabash Avenue, Chicago
180 East Benton Place, Chicago
15 West Illinois Street, Chicago
Little Market Brasserie
10 East Delaware Place, Chicago
Amy Cavanaugh writes about food, drink, and travel for publications in Chicago and elsewhere. She is also the weekend editor of Chicagoist.
Follow Amy Cavanaugh on Twitter: @AmyCavanaugh