Derby Day was of the unforgettably good sort this year. With an agenda filled with Juleps, Fried Fare and Plenty of Seersucker, it was a Southern style one for the books. If you’re the betting kind.
The day began with a stop by the The Cedars Social for a Maker’s Mark Decadent Kentucky Derby Fete. The scene was filled with fashionably derby styled attendees (expertly to the t) sipping refreshing and creative libations crafted by Trina Nishimura. Makers Mark featured cocktails included: Classic and (delicious) Peach Juleps, a “Mark Collins” twist on the Tom and a bitterly good, sparkling wine topped Seelbach. Derby bites like delicious BBQ ribs, bite sized Hot Brown sandwiches, fried green tomatoes and citrus marinated snapper made several rounds and were snatched promptly.
The party went into full gear inside complete with an official derby bugler, and custom Makers Mark hot wax dipping station for commemorative Kentucky Derby glasses. Waiting outside was ‘Chica’ from Habitat for Horse, a horse rescue initiative that seeks out and seizes horses from unsafe situations. Adorned with a beautiful neck bouquet on a very warm Derby day, Chica was the Cedar Social unofficial derby mascot for the day.
We also stopped in for a very special ‘Jockeys & Juleps’ happy hour and watch party at Sissy’s Southern Kitchen and Bar on Henderson. The Alabama Sunset, Mint Julep and Kentucky Punch were all featured at $5 for the 4-7pm derby event. Guests lined the bar area and private scotch room in order to gather around TV and watch ‘I’ll have another’ take the prize. A hat contest and a spirited appearance by Lisa Garza throughout the event made the crowded bar feel less frantic. Fried Chicken filled revelers carried on the fun even after the race was done, assuring a busy late night affair of Juleps and Short Ribs.
Derby Day was surprisingly proper and well fitting for Dallas this year. With an assortment of “I beg your pardon”s and perfected southern dress, I was removed if only for a while from the heat and green deprived city and taken to a Churchill-esque state of mind.