The Kentucky Derby is a place of tradition like few others in the United States, adhering to some for quite some time now.
"My Old Kentucky Home", the song played when the horses are led onto the field, has been played at the Derby by University of Louisville Marching Band since way back when in 1936. Celebrities are also a staple attraction at the event as some horses in the Derby previously have been owned by the likes of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, director Steven Speilberg and musician Burt Bacharach.
The Garland of Roses, presented to the winner of the Kentucky Derby each year, has been shipped to Danville, KY to be freeze-dried for preservation since 1996. Some horse owners even save a rose to dip it in silver as a remembrance piece of their victory.
Amazingly, there never has been a winner to come out of post position #15.
Now that you've made yourself smarter, how about a cocktail?
SB Nation's Matt Ufford has found the perfect recipies for some classic southern cocktails like the Mint Julep, Old Fashioned and Whiskey Smash, all staples of the Kentucky Derby. Check out the video below to see how to make them all right, with ingredients listed for you below as well.
And remember, Early Times is the official Kentucky whiskey used for Mint Juleps at the Kentucky Derby.
1. Muddle 3-5 sprigs of mint with simple syrup or sugar (to taste)
2. Add 3 oz. bourbon and crushed ice in layers
3. Garnish with mint
1. Muddle 2-4 pieces lemon, 3-5 sprigs of mint, and simple syrup or sugar to taste
2. Add 2-3 oz. bourbon, stir, and strain (optional)
3. Garnish with mint and/or lemon
1. Mix 1/2 oz. simple syrup with 2 dashes bitters OR Muddle 1 sugar cube in a splash of water and 2 dashes bitters
2. Add 2 oz. bourbon (or rye) with ice, stir
3. Garnish with twist of lemon or orange
For more on the 2012 Kentucky Derby, please check out And Down The Stretch They Come.