The stands at the Kentucky Derby this year will be empty, but here’s how we celebrated from home.

Embrace the unconventional of 2020 and do Derby Differently. TSaturday, September 5th, Derby parties were celebrated from home. Here are some tips from Seri Kertzner, of Little Miss Party who created the ultimate guide to throwing a Covid-safe party, filled with fun food ideas, decor, games and more!

Food

Seri proposes having your guests come over early for brunch. “I always set out some bowls of chips and nuts for snacking. I made a Kentucky Hot Brown dip, served in a cast iron skillet, but for brunch I’ll keep things simple. I love to get a variety of bagels, spreads and toppings, which I’ll display on a large board. My favorite brunch trick is to pre-cut bagels and stack them on my paper towel holder. Add some fresh fruit and you’re done!” Seri also suggests buying a yummy dessert to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. “This year, a Bourbon Pecan Pie shipped straight from Kentucky!”

Decor

You can always go out and buy decorations, but Seri enjoys repurposing items around her home. “I created a winning centerpiece for my brunch tablescape by arranging red roses in a trophy style vase, which you can probably dig up somewhere in the garage. We also have some toy horse figurines my children no longer play with, so after a coat of black and metallic spray paint they’ll make the perfect custom place cards or decorative accents.”

Style

Seri says to shop in your own closet and create a look outside of the norm. “The Derby is such a fun excuse to get dressed up, but let’s be honest, nobody is putting on a seersucker suit and a giant hat for a viewing party at home.” Why not flip the traditional?

Games

Keeping your guests entertained doesn’t have to be hard. Seri says to put on an upbeat playlist. “You can purchase or DIY a fun backdrop and props, set out an instant camera and let guests strike a pose.”

Most importantly, you can’t forget the drinks! Seri stocks up on G.H. Mumm Champagne for her get togethers. She suggests putting out glassware before the guests arrive. She also recommends the G.H. Mumm Cloupe—a hybrid between a flute and a coupe glass, perfect for sipping champagne.

Ken-Tiki Derby Julep

Ken-Tiki Derby Julep

Ken-Tiki Derby Julep

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz G.H. Mumm Grand Cordon Champagne
  • 1 1⁄2 oz. Jameson Black Barrel
  • 1⁄2 oz. lime juice
  • 1⁄4 oz. pineapple syrup
  • 4-5 mint leaves

Preparation: In a highball glass, combine mint, pineapple syrup, and lime juice. Gently muddle the ingredients and add in the Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey. Add crushed ice and light stir to combine ingredients. Top with G.H. Mumm Champagne and add in more crushed ice. Dash 2-3 of angostura bitters on top. Garnish with pineapple leaves and mint.


Cinco de Derby

Cinco de Derby

Cinco de Derby

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz G.H. Mumm Grand Cordon Champagne
  • 1 1⁄2 oz. Avion Blanco Tequila
  • 1⁄2 oz. blackberry cinnamon syrup*
  • 1⁄2 oz. fresh lime juice

Preparation: Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, and fill with ice. Shake to chill and strain into a rocks glass over ice. Top with G.H. Mumm Champagne. *Blackberry cinnamon syrup: Combine 1 cup of water, 1 pack of blackberries, and 2 cinnamon sticks broken up in a small saucepan. Warm the ingredients on medium heat until the blackberries start to split and release juice. Add in 1 cup of sugar and gently stir to dissolve. Allow the syrup to cool down, then strain out the solids. Garnish with fresh mint, lime, and fresh grated cinnamon.