Today kicks off Derby Week around the world Or maybe just in Kentucky and the South! Either way it’s a week of horses, Mint Juleps, and funky hats. Brooks and I had the pleasure of going to the derby two years ago and it was such an amazing experience. All the pomp and circumstance that goes into the derby in the days leading up to the big race is mind-blowing. Parties, early races like the Oaks on Friday, and shopping for Derby memorabilia.
As you can tell by Brooks’ jacket, it rained that year. It didn’t rain all day so we had time to go hat-watching and celebrity spotting! That also meant that we spent a lot of time at the bar. Sucking down Mint Juleps, Bourbon with bourbon floaters, and for me, The Oaks Lily! The official drink of The Oaks race, it’s Grey Goose Vodka, Cranberry juice, Triple Sec, and sour mix. I guzzled down quite a few of these that day! But even with these tasty concoctions, bourbon is the drink of the day. Or week. Or all year round for people in Kentucky, and our house. Brooks grandmother has a great recipe for bourbon balls so I thought we could start off Derby Week with these drunken delights!
Woodford Reserve is the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby, but it is quite expensive. I used Jim Beam for these but feel free to use any bourbon that you like. Some people prefer the cheaper versions for cooking and baking. Brooks would have killed me if I used one of his “nice” bottles that he collects.
Bourbon balls are a quick and easy treat to make, last for weeks, and make a great dessert for Derby week while you are slamming down Mint Juleps!
What are you making this Derby Week and which horse will you be cheering for?
- 2 lbs plus ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1½ sticks butter, room temperature
- ½ cup bourbon
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted and salted
- Mix together the butter and sugar.
- Add in the pecans, juice, and bourbon.
- Roll into 1 inch balls, or what ever size you choose.
- Chill for 10 minutes.
- While balls are chillin' melt your chocolate.
- Roll your bourbon balls in the chocolate so all sides are coated.
- Place on parchment paper and chill in fridge until ready to eat!