Ben and I throw two annual parties: our Christmas party and our Kentucky Derby party. We started this tradition when we moved into our own place (about 3-4 years ago). The Derby struck us as the perfect time to host a party when we were living in Tacoma and I wanted a Sunday excuse to dress up. It happened to fall on Cinco De Mayo so we chose to make it a Cinco de Mayo/Derby party and half of the room wore hats and dresses and the other half brought Mexican food. It was weird. Since then, we've silo-ed the Derby and have had a fancy event for three years running.
The Derby happens to be fall during peony season which always makes for gorgeous floral decor around the house, and mint juleps are an easy drink with pretty garnishes. This year we had lilacs, bright peonies from the farmer's market, hydrangeas and freshly picked rhododendron as floral decor. We served cucumber sandwiches, wasabi deviled eggs, mint julep 'gelettes' (recipe to come), butterscotch bourbon brownies (recipe to come, as well), lil' smokies (because who doesn't love them), a charcuterie board, cheddar popcorn, white wine, mint juleps and everyone brought something delicious to share. We also invited a friend that happens to be ace at dressing up for themed parties (he's the non-Ben in the bowtie) and I think his ludicrous outfit made the entire night! We hung out with friends from 1-9 p.m. and had a giant mess to clean up the next day! A success!
Did you throw a Derby party this year?