It seems every year there are more and more choices in NYC for attending an elegant Kentucky Derby party. Luckily, I received an invitation to a very special soiree, hosted by Four Roses—a bourbon lovers dream! Get inspired to host your own.

This is a great party model to aspire to, if you are thinking of hosting a super-chic Derby party. The menu features fantastic, Southern-inspired small bites, and, of course bourbon cocktails. Recipes for a truly tasty punch made with Four Roses bourbons and a classic Mint Julep can be found at this link. ADD LINK

hobnobmag Elegant Kentucky Derby Party2

hobnobmag Elegant Kentucky Derby Party2


Four Roses invited hat designer Gigi Burris to grace the scene, and she did look lovely in a straw number with black edge and bow. She also had some hats for other guests to wear, making for a festive room indeed. Check out her website for the latest collection and inspiration.

hobnobmag Elegant Kentucky Derby Party2

A nice touch at this party—for extra excitement—was a friendly betting pool on hand, where $5 got you a pick of one of the race’s horses. Turned out, Good Magic was my pick, and, I have to say, it was exciting to see the horse in third place for most of the short race. But not the winner in the end. Shucks. The pot was split between the winner, and the horse that came in last place, just to be nice.


The food circulated to ensure we would not get too tipsy. All the recipes were inspired by food down-South, but designed in mini portions for mingling. The Southern-Influenced Small Bites Menu:

• Buttermilk Biscuits with Tasso Ham, Spicy Mustard, Cress
• Deviled Eggs topped with Bacon, Chives, Scallions
• Ritz Crackers with Pimento Cheese & Roasted Peppers
• Pickled Shrimp
• Truffle Popcorn with Rosemary
• Pecan Pralines Cupcakes

hobnobmag Elegant Kentucky Derby Party2

hobnobmag Elegant Kentucky Derby Party2


I created a Pinterest Board showing more Derby classics that have been revamped in the most sophisticated way. Be sure to reference the cocktail recipes in a separate post, the Derby Day Peach Punch ADD LINK was absolutely addictive! Here’s what’s on the Pinterest board Elegant Kentucky Derby:

HOBNOBMAG elegant Kentucky Derby pin

Creative cocktails featuring bourbon, stretching the imagination beyond the Mint Julep.

Bourbon Meatballs: Infusing bourbon into this mix is a wondrous combination, and includes bases other than beef.

Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich: I found variations that mimic the flavors of the Kentucky classic, but dress it up in party mode.

Benedictine Tea Sandwiches: The classic Louisville spread can be beautifully displayed, and doctored with additional flavor enhancements.

Biscuits: Use them as a base to incorporate a Southern vibe into a variety of small bites.

Deviled Eggs: Mother nature supplies a perfectly sized vessel. I found some graphic and pretty examples.

Pecans: a must for dessert or snacking