Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Derby Day Is Upon Us: Seersucker & Hats Welcome

This Saturday is the first leg of the Triple Crown of horse racing, better known as the Kentucky Derby.  At 3:23 on Saturday afternoon, the field of horses will begin their one and one quarter mile race to win the prize at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.  Fortunately you do not need to be in Louisville to experience the pagentry and excitement of this legendary race.  Several venues here in Los Angeles will be hosting viewing parties, two of which are of particular note:

Hollis Bulleit, the heiress to the Bulleitt bourbon empire, will be hosting her annual derby party at Seven Grand Whiskey Bar in Downtown LA.  Admission is $20 and attendees will get to munch on barbeque and sip on mint juleps crafted with Bulleit bourbon.  The event is a benefit for Speed Rack, which supports female bartenders with breast cancer.  The first hundred folks through the door will receive a special glass and prizes will be awarded for best hat and best bow tie and seersucker.  I have attended this event in the past and can vouch that it is a good time.  Nobody has better hats than Hollis.

For those whom one type of julep is not enough, Marcos Tello will be mixing a variety of cocktails at the Los Angeles Athletic Club's 2nd Annual "Hold Your Horses" Kentucky Derby viewing party.  Entry to this fest includes an extensive Kentucky Derby inspired buffet (think Kentucky hot brown sandwiches, pecan tarts etc), a Marcos Tello handcrafted mint julep, live music from the Bastards of Belleville (a gypsy jazz quartet), and games.  As a bonus, attendees will receive a free drink at Seven Grand following their Hold Your Horses fest attendance.  In addition to his trifecta of juleps (Gin, Georgia and Kentucky), Tello will also be pouring whiskey flights.  Tickets are $35 and reservations can be made by calling (213) 630-5255.

Tello's juleps include a Gin Julep with inspired by Harry Johnson's 1882 bar manual that includes Bols Genever as its base, a Georgia Julep with Remy Martin VSOP Cognac and a Kentucky Mint Julep with the classic bourbon base.  All the juleps will include the traditional mint leaves and if you haven't had one from Marcos, then this is an opportunity not to be missed.

Either way you can't go wrong as you get to sip on mint juleps, eat some rather tasty Kentucky cooking, dress in your finest hats and seersucker and turn two minutes of race viewing into a whole afternoon's worth of adventure.

Seven Grand: 515 W. 7th Street, DTLA | 213.614.0736 | http://213nightlife.com/sevengrand

LA Athletic Club: 431 W. 7th Street, DTLA | 213.630.5255 | LAAC event website

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