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 is hosting a shindig on the patio where they will serve mint julep spritzers starting at 2:30pm. The person wearing the best hat will go home with a bottle of the restaurant’s private label bourbon and lunch for two.
Where else to celebrate:
- Poste's Derby Day party 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 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 Beam 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 and biscuits along with Kentucky Bourbon flights and other race inspired cocktails.
- The Round Robin Bar inside the Willard InterContinental will once again throw their Bonnets and Bowties party. An $80 cover fee includes red carpet entry, two handcrafted Henry Clay Mint Juleps, a traditional Southern buffet, live music, prizes and raffles throughout the event.