The first weekend of May brings with it one of the greatest sporting traditions: The Kentucky Derby. Even if your knowledge of horse racing and betting terminology is limited, take this day as an excuse to drink endless mint juleps. Ladies, don your hats and sundresses. Gentlemen, it’s time to break out your seersucker suits and head to these bars for Kentucky’s most famous cocktail.
The southern-inspired restaurant will be hosting a Triple Crown watch for all three races. Come on Derby Day and enjoy Kentucky favorites including Hot Browns, Burgoo Stew and Derby Pie. The specialty cocktail will, of course, be a Mint Julep made with Bulleit Bourbon. There will be prizes given out for the Prettiest, Craziest and Best Do It Yourself Hats and Bowties, so arrive in your Kentucky Derby finest. If you make it to the following watches for the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, you’ll be entered to win prizes including a dinner for four. (901 New York Ave., NW; 202-408-8848)
From 11:30 AM–7:30 PM enjoy $5 wine, beer and Mint Juleps at Circle Bistro where raffle tickets and prizes will be given away. Come wearing your Derby Day gear and you’ll be rewarded with a free bar snack. (1 Washington Cir., NW; 202-293-5390)
Head to Adams Morgan for Jack Rose’s Derby Celebration. From 4–7 PM, enjoy themed beverages including Juleps and Derby Punch as well as Kentucky inspired snacks. (2007 18th St., NW; 202-588-7388)
From 2–6 PM, Rebellion will be hosting a one of a kind Derby party complete with … a crab boil. Get dressed up in your Derby Day finery, watch the race, sip on your Julep and chow down on crabs. (1836 18th St., NW; 202-299-0399)
Red Derby will be kicking off the annual Derby Day festivities with the Big Hat Brunch. Following the Bloody Marys and Mimosas, Mint Juleps and Derby Pie will be served. (3718 14th St., NW; 202-291-5000)
If you’re searching for an event where you can wear your new fascinator, look no further than the Willard InterContinental’s annual Bonnets & Bowties
soiree. Prizes for best dressed will be given out, and you’ll also sip on the famous Henry Clay Mint Julep...named after the famous Kentucky politician who introduced the drink to DC. (1401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-628-9100)
Starting at 2 PM on Derby Day, Southern Efficiency will have Mint Juleps on tap, Hot Browns ready to be devoured and the “greatest two minutes in sports” shown live on TV. (1841 7th St., NW; 202-316-9396)
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