Cinco de Derby

Friday, May 02, 2008

Three years ago, I spotted a trend in a small newspaper. I forwarded what I learned to my alcohol team and they ignored me. Now, this idea has taken off.

The first weekend of each May, people choose to celebrate either the Kentucky Derby or Cinco de Mayo. So this sparked the idea to merge the two parties in one big Cinco de Derby party! I know, this could get a little crazy, but the two really have a lot of similarities that make it easy to host your own party.

Here are some ideas for hosting a Cinco de Derby Party…

* Both celebrations have distinct hats. Create a dress up area right when guests walk in that includes big hats with flowers and sombreros. You could even have a DIY station where you supply the hats and flowers and guests can create a hat to match their attire. The dollar store sells great faux flowers and glue guns! For those who would rather be a little more Mexican, Plum Party sells great flower hair pins (left)

* Speaking of attire, I recommend the Derby Prep of dresses and pastels. When the sun goes down, put out some colorful Mexican blankets

* Piñatas were introduced to the United States by the Mexican’s. To add some Derby flair, stuff a horse piñata (right) with mini’s of tequila and candy. (If you really want to impress guests, create a necklace of roses for your horse. That shows he is a winner!)

* Bring the horse racing to your party with an actual horse race. I bet you are thinking that I am going to explain how to play my magnificent card game. NO. Rather, buy a few horse sticks and have guests race around your yard. You can find a plethora of different horses on Pick up some fake money at the dollar store as well. Step this idea up a notch by asking your friends to name their horse. Mine would be YourRoyalHighness

* My favorite meal is tacos and I love to customize my own (steak, hot, sour cream, cheese and lettuce). Set out ingredients for people to make their own tacos. Start with chicken, steak and ground beef and set out an array of toppings like peppers, cheeses, lettuce, etc.

* The traditional drink of Cinco is a margarita, while the Derby has its famous mint julep. Marry the two with a Min Margarita (recipe from AOL Recipes). Rather than serve in a traditional margarita glass, pour the drink into silver plated julep cups. These ones to the right are from Plum Party, but I am sure you can find cheaper ones.

Mint Margarita
2-3 oz tequila (silver or gold)
1-1 1/2 oz orange liqueur or Triple sec
2-4 oz homemade sour mix (even parts of lemon, lime and orange juices and 5 tablespoons sugar)
(3 lime wedges)
(4 sprigs mint)
Club soda

Muddle or chop mint very fine
Build ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker
Add ice and shake
Don't strain. Pour into glass
Top off with club soda

To salt a glass -- Pour lime juice onto a plate and roll outside rim of the glass around the plate. Then sprinkle glass with salt or roll glass around another plate with salt.

(sources: AOL Recipes, photos:,,