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Where to Spend Derby Day

Washington DC Dining DC

We snapped Duane Sylvestre behind the bar at Bourbon Steak preparing for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby when almost every drink order will be a Mint Julep. There’s not much to the recipe— it’s just bourbon, simple syrup and fresh mint—so where Duane shines is the execution. The restaurant inside The Four Seasons in Georgetown is hosting a shindig on the patio where they will serve mint julep spritzers starting at 2:30 p.m. The person wearing the best hat will go home with a bottle of the restaurant’s private label bourbon and lunch for two.


There are plenty of other places to celebrate:

  • Poste is throwing a Derby Day party that doubles as a release party for a DC Brau/Knob Creek collaboration that’s a barrel-aged beer called Penn Quarter Porter. General admission tickets are $75 for all-you-can-eat and drink, access to racing games with prizes and a souvenir Derby glass. VIP tickets are $200 and include a private food and beverage area, access to the Maker’s Mark hand dipping station, and an exclusive bourbon tasting. If you’re good at Wii, you could win an overnight stay at the Jim Bean distillery!
  • The Bixton will air the race on the rooftop with mint juleps and other race day specials.
  • Logan Tavern will serve traditional Derby food like fried green tomatoes and ham & biscuits along with Kentucky Bourbon whiskey flights and other race inspired cocktails.
  • The Willard InterContinental will once again host its "Bonnets and Bow-Ties” Kentucky Derby Party. A $80 cover fee includes red carpet entry, two handcrafted Henry Clay Mint Juleps, a traditional Southern buffet, live music, prizes and raffles.