Kentucky Derby Cocktails

 

Cocktails for the Kentucky Derby

It’s almost time for the annual Race for the Roses, and what better way to celebrate than with some amazing Kentucky Derby cocktails! Of course the classic mint julep is the first drink that comes to mind when thinking of the Derby, but here are recipes for five amazing options to round out your race day celebration!




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THE ROYAL STRETCHKentucky Derby cocktails

  • 1 1/2 oz. Crown Royal
  • 3 oz. sparkling water or club soda
  • Splash of cherry juice or grenadine

Serve over ice in a Collins glass with mint leaf garnish.

CHOCOLATEY BOURBON SHAKE

This is a yummy dessert shake for adults!Kentuckyt Derby cocktails

  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 cups mint chocolate chip ice cream

Combine in blender until you get the desired consistency. Serves two.

MINT JULEP SWEET TEA

We found this combination of two southern favorites at Southern Living Magazine

  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leavesKentucky Derby cocktails
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 cups cold sweetened tea
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • Crushed ice
  • Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

Combine first 3 ingredients in a 2-qt. pitcher. Press mint leaves against sides of pitcher with back of spoon to release flavors. Stir in tea and bourbon. Serve over crushed ice. Garnish, if desired.

BASIL LEMON MOONSHINEKentucky Derby cocktail

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 cups shredded fresh basil
  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle moonshine (such as Ole Smoky Original Tennessee Moonshine)
  • 2 (2- x 1-inch) lemon peel strips
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 (2- x 1-inch) lemon peel strips

Cook sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Cool 10 minutes. Stir in shredded basil, moonshine, and 2 lemon peel strips. Pour into a large glass jar. Seal with lid, and chill 24 hours to 2 weeks. Strain into a bowl; discard solids. Return to jar. Add basil leaves and 2 lemon peel strips. Refrigerate up to 2 months.

MINT VODKA MARTINIKentucky Derby cocktails

  • 6 mint leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. simple syrup
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 3 Tbsp. vodka

In a cocktail shaker, muddle mint and syrup. Add ice and vodka and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled martini glass.

Kentucky Derby Parrty ideasFor lots of great Kentucky Derby party ideas, be sure to skip over to our Derby party page! Or, follow us on Pinterest!

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May Day Baskets

Celebrate May Day
with a May Day Basket!

 

Monday, May 1st is May Day, and officially it’s time to celebrate the beauty of springtime!

Have you ever had a Secret Santa or been “Boo-ed” at Halloween? Well, leaving a pretty basket of flowers at the doorsteps of your favorite people is springtime’s version of this fun holiday tradition.

The May Day celebration dates back to ancient Roman times, and is traditionally celebrated with festivals, beribboned Maypoles, and lots of flowers! The gathering of flowers was otherwise known as “bringing in the May” and giving friends and loved ones flower baskets soon became part of May Day festivities.

Today May Day baskets are often filled with flowers and candy and either placed on the doorsteps of friends and neighbors or tied to door handles before the giver quickly rings the door handle and dashes away. Who wouldn’t love to open the door to find a special gift of springtime left by a secret admirer?

A May Day basket can be as simple as setting some flowers from your yard in a jar, or you can get a little more creative and make things extra special. We found some fun ideas at Skip to My Lou and Design Sponge for making the pretty May Day baskets. For directions on how to make them, just click on the links below.

Happy spring!

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Directions for May Day baskets:

 

1. Recycled Can Bouquet

2.  Glass Jar Bouquet

3.  Paper Cone Bouquet

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Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Decorations

cinco de mayo fiesta decorations

Looking for a great excuse to throw a party that’s full of color and fun? How about a Cinco de Mayo fiesta? I love the bright colors, upbeat music, and yummy food and drinks that all come together to make a wonderful fiesta. You can find lots of great Cinco de Mayo theme party ideas on our fiesta party page, but here are some new inspirations for fiesta decorations, perfect for a Cinco de Mayo extravaganza!

Dark - 728x90

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Start with bright colors — Fiestas are all about bright. When you think about your fiesta decorations, keep color in mind every step of the way. Orange, lime, hot pink, turquoise, and bold yellow can come together to make a really vibrant color scheme. If you have fiesta ware serving pieces, these can be great. Silver toned serving pieces also can be a nice contrast to a colorful table. Another easy option is to purchase some paper fiesta themed tableware. (Best of all, this offers easy clean up at the end of your party.)

Hang some tissue paper decorations — Tissue paper fans, flags, and flowers can all add whimsy to a Cinco de Mayo party. Here is a tutorial we posted a while ago showing you how to easily make tissue paper pom poms.

mini pinata fiesta decorations

Colorful mini piñatas make fun fiesta table toppers


Include a Piñata —  Piñatas are great fun as both fiesta decorations and a party activity. You might hang a giant piñata over your party area or set mini piñatas on the table as a fun touch.

Think about the lighting — If your party is going to be held in the evening, white twinkle lights wrapped around trees or draped from above can help cast a magical glow.

Use traditional Mexican decorations — Some things that can be great additions to your décor are colorful traditional items such as serapes, sombreros, or painted maracas. You might use them as centerpieces or set them on the ends of your serving areas.

free fiesta printables

free fiesta printables

Add some flowers or cacti — Big, bold flowers such as dahlias or zinnias can be beautiful addition to your fiesta decorations. Or, you might try using cacti planted in painted pots or bright cans.  We found the fun picture above at a fiesta on Loves Food, Loves to Eat. These little gems also make great party souvenirs for your guests.

Personalize your party with free printables — We created these free fiesta party circles and a free printable fiesta invitation that you can download and use at your next event. Enjoy!

Include great music, food and drink — Of course, decorations can only take your party so far. For a truly memorable event, don’t forget to think about the atmosphere (i.e. music) and the menu. A delicious taco bar or signature drink can be great additions to a wonderful Cinco de Mayo party.

Be Sure to Take a Look at Amol’s!Amols’ is a vendor that we love who specializes in all things fiesta! Whatever you are looking for in the way of fiesta decorations, you can be sure to find it here! Here are a few of the amazing, colorful items they sell that can definitely help brighten up your Cinco de Mayo party!

Cornhusk Indita Doll
Cornhusk Dolls
Large Paper Picado Banner- Multicolor
Papel Picado Banner
Multicolor Pansy Cornhusk Flowers
Multicolor Mexican Flowers

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Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Cinco de Mayo recipes

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo by gathering your amigos for some great Mexican food and drinks. Here are a few easy and delicious Cinco de Mayo recipes for appetizers and margaritas with a twist!




Cheryl’s Awesome Guacamole

Of all the guacamole recipes I’ve tried, this one is definitely one of the best.

Combine:

  • 4 large avocados
  • 2-1 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 bunch of chopped cilantro
  • ½ -1 finely chopped serrano or jalepeno pepper (depending on how hot you like it)
  • 2 diced roma tomatoes
  • the juice of 1½ limes
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • cotija cheese (to garnish)

Smash avocado with a fork, mix in other ingrediants, squeeze fresh lime juice liberally, salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle cheese on top to serve.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Ingredients :

  • ½ of a small onion
  • ¼ cup of cilantro leaves or parsley
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 pound of diced ripe tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt

Instructions:
Finely chop one half of a small onion. Mince ¼ cup of cilantro leaves or parsley. In a mixing bowl, combine the onion, cilantro or parsley, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 pound of diced ripe tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of lime juice, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Makes 2 ½cups.

Jose Cuervo Pomegranate Margaritas

(from the Jose Cuervo website)

  • 1.5 oz Jose Cuervo Especial Gold Tequila
  • 3 oz Jose Cuervo Lime Margarita Mix
  • 2 oz Pomegranate Juice
  • 1 Lime Wedge
  • 1 tbsp. Coarse Salt or Sugar (optional)

Directions:
Combine tequila, margarita mix, and pomegranate juice in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled Margarita glass. Rim glass with salt or sugar if desired. Garnish with lime wedge. **Tip: Use red sugar on the rim of your glass for an extra festive Margarita.

fiesta theme partyFor more great Cinco de Mayo party ideas, be sure to visit the fiesta page on our website, Creative Party Themes.

Just add friends and you’re ready to fiesta!