The Kentucky Derby is May 7th this year, and if you can't be one of the 160,000 people watching in person at Churchill Downs, you can certainly get into the spirit at home for the "most exciting two minutes in sports." Synonymous with this Louisville event is the Mint Julep, served starting at 8:00 AM at the track. We're not suggesting that you start that early unless you're adding coffee to the recipe, but we are going to suggest that you buy your silver cups before the big day. Drinking a mint julep from a silver cup is a tradition dating back to the early days of the derby, and we love getting into the spirit of anything that involves bourbon.
Here's a roundup of silver cups we love for beautiful Kentucky Derby day entertaining.
Yes, this is the poor man's silver cup, but in the age of Pinterest, using a discarded soup can (from your house...not the alley) is actually right on trend. Go to your local supermarket and stock up on a dozen cans of soup (or however many people you'll be entertaining for). You have a good amount of days until the Kentucky Derby so the timing is just perfect. Once the can is empty, soak it in water to get the label off, then run it through the dishwasher. Our blogger friend Bri Geeski feautured our book Cocktails for Cougars and Cowgirls where we show you exactly how to make a mint julep in a tin can. Just remember that you will definitely want to use a straw with these homemade mint julep cups since sometimes the edges are not so rounded.
If you're on a budget and can't justify buying a set of silver drinking cups that may only be used once a year, but you don't want to use a tin can, we'd like to familiarize you with the Hanna K. signature collection on Amazon.com. Didn't know that plastic cups could be considered part of a "signature collection?" Neither did we. But for $16.09, you can get your hands on a set of fifty, which will probably last through several years of Derbys.
Sur la Table offers this stunner for $29.95 from their Cambridge Collection. It's a steel cup with silver plating that will hold 12 ounces of packed ice, mint, and bourbon. And if you think you'll only use it once a year, you're wrong! These classy little cups will be put to good use for many occasions throughout the year.
Target sells a collection of Ten Strawberry Street silver cups that look like the real thing. For $44.00 you can get a set of two nickel plated mint julep cups that will make your bar look super sophisticated. Hand wash them only, and keep each cup wrapped in paper towels or dish clothes to avoid unnecessary nicks and scratches when not in use. Not all Targets carry this item, so call first or buy online in advance.
Meet the "Mint Julep Tumbler" from Tiffany & Co., a gorgeous drinking vessel made from solid sterling silver that retails for $1,250.00. Yes 'mam! The mint julep served in this cup just has to taste just a little bit better than the others, doesn't it? But would you ever even use it or just keep it locked up in your bar... If we bet on a horse that won big, this might very well be our first purchase.