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Friday, April 17, 2015

On 5:56 PM by 67wine@gmail.com in , , , , ,    No comments

HATS OFF TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY….

One of ‘Women and Whiskey’s” favorite days of the year is The Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby is one of the most celebrated thoroughbred horse races in the world. Since its first running in May 17, 1875, the race has become an iconic American cultural event. Also known as The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports’ for its estimated duration, every first Saturday in May spectators flock to the legendary Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. This race is the official kick off of three known as US Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. To follow are the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.

This prestigious American horse race is known as much for its longstanding racetrack traditions as it is for its Thoroughbreds. These traditions have become customary like that of any ceremony, celebration and extend beyond the track grounds. Fans take pride and many of these rituals are followed thru at Kentucky Derby parties across the country.

First there’s the tradition of the Blanket of Roses. The Derby is occasionally refereed as ‘The Run of the Roses’ as 554 roses are awarded to the winner each year. The blanket of roses was introduced to America in 1870’s by Churchill Downs founder Meriwether Lewis Clark.

Second, the theme song ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ by Stephen Foster was believed to have originated in 1921. It wasn’t until then when the song gained in popularity and within a few years it replaced the National Anthem as the Derby’s theme song.

Another tradition are the ornate Hats worn by women marking the Derby a true spectator’s event, ‘a see-and-be seen,’ "It really goes back to England, and the Kentucky Derby was patterned after a race in England, the Epsom," says Ronnie Dreistadt, a curator of education at the Kentucky Derby Museum.

The signature drink of the Derby is the Mint Julep This libation has been around since the beginning but it wasn’t until 1938 that this Kentucky bourbon cocktail become the official drink. A Mint Julep is always made with fresh mint, Kentucky Bourbon and lots of crushed or shaved ice. “Every year during Derby week at Churchill Downs, more than 80,000 mint juleps are served.”

Woofford Reserve has been the ‘Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby’ for about 17 years. Woodford Reserve’s whiskeys are distilled in Versailles, Kentucky- the heart of Thoroughbred County. Each year a commemorative bottle is crafted. The 2015 limited-edition Woodford Reserve Kentucky Derby bottle features the artwork from artist Carole Andreen-Harris. This liter size bottle has six horses in motion with their jockeys wearing colorful silks. “The bottle's neck band features a diamond pattern of light mint and Woodford Reserve's signature copper colour as well as the Kentucky Derby 141 date sealing the top of the bottle. The tag at the bottle neck offers details about the product and the artist.” drinksinsightnetwork

Some other Kentucky Bourbons to imbibe on Derby Day are Four Roses Bourbon, Blanton’s, Maker’s Mark, and Bulleit.

~Women and Whiskey

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