Check, Please! Foodie in Residence blog

Derby Weekend

By Amy Cavanaugh |

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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…

Bramble On


  • 2 oz. Broker's Gin (or another gin, if you prefer)
  • 0.75 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons raspberry jam


  1. Shake all these ingredients together in a shaker and strain over ice.
  2. Finish with a healthy bouquet of fresh mint.

Ada St.
1664 North Ada Street, Chicago
(773) 697-7069

The Gage
24 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago
(312) 372-4243

South Water Kitchen
225 North Wabash Avenue, Chicago
(312) 236-9300

III Forks
180 East Benton Place, Chicago
(312) 938-4303

American Junkie
15 West Illinois Street, Chicago
(312) 239-0995

Little Market Brasserie
10 East Delaware Place, Chicago
(312) 640-8141