It’s the final countdown to the Derby, and I can’t wait to share my twists on a few classic Kentucky Derby recipes to get your party off to the right start. My good friend Kristin Chambless of ColorByK and I dressed up in our “Derby Best” (my breezy blue lattice dress is from my Southern favorite, Draper James!), and put on a sweet little Derby party in good ‘ole Charleston to kick off the races. I’ll be sharing more recipes leading up to the big day; but in the meantime, put on your best Derby attire and pour those Mint Juleps – here is a classic, easy cocktail bite that you can’t throw a Derby party without – “Benedictine” – the famous cocktail spread brought to life in the 1800s by Louisville hostess extraordinaire, “Miss Jennie” Carter Benedict. The great part about this recipe? You can serve is as a spread, on a tea or cocktail sandwich, or even as a dip…cheers to the Derby, y’all!
I wanted to put a twist on this classic recipe to update it a bit, so I played with presentation instead of taking any tradition out of this ‘tried and true’ Southern favorite. I used dark Pumpernickel cut into sweet flower shapes to create little open-faced Benedictine bites with a fun cucumber garnish (they look fancy, but they are so easy, I promise!). These little bites are simple and perfect for making ahead so you can focus on your guests, and of course, the race! You’ll have plenty of time to make a “run for the roses” and craft the perfect party centerpiece too…
CLASSIC KENTUCKY BENEDICTINE BITES
Makes 1 cup | Recipe adapted from The Southerner’s Cookbook (from the Editors of Garden & Gun)
It’s a strange combo, I admit, but it’s a treat that has been around as long as the Derby…definitely worth a try and it wouldn’t be a proper Derby party without it! Now go grab a bite and place that winning bet!