Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Doing the Kentucky Derby in Minnesota

By Kelly Newcomer

The Kentucky Derby is coming up May 6 & 7 (Mother's Day weekend). If you're wondering, where can I find a killer handmade hat to wear to watch the Kentucky Derby, you're in the right place. I'm also going to show you where to find handmade horsey kids' toys, mint-inspired body care, and a recipe for a classic mint julep using Minnesota Bourbon.

First off, the hats. The Kentucky Derby is traditionally a place to which one wears a hat. Since the 60's the hats have become more ostentatious. In fact, since the English royal wedding in 2011, the hat situation has really gone overboard.

Local handmade hats

Here in Minnesota, we have quite a few hat-makers or milliners. You could wear one of these on a fine spring day and turn a few heads.

Bound to be Creative Reversible Hat with custom ribbon from St. Charles, MN in a light-weight linen blend. Bound to be Creative also creates hats for adults and children in newsboy and cloche styles. https://www.etsy.com/listing/232624992/reversible-handmade-shade-hat-fabric?ref=shop_home_listings


If it's too hot for a hat try a fascinator

A "Fascinator" is an accessory you can put right on your hair, doing away with the whole hat thing... Ododo Originals has a hand-beaded oversize flower fascinator. They need to be attached to the hair by a comb, headband or clip. The Ododo Originals version comes with an alligator-style hair clip. Ododo Originals is based in Minneapolis.


Hats for kids

While you're at it, why not also select a fascinator for baby? Bella Maria Creations of Maplewood, MN has a pink floral headband for babies made with lace and pearl beads. https://www.etsy.com/listing/150313164/coral-flower-white-elastic-lace-baby?ref=related-5

Speaking of kids - did you know, some families actually set up their own mock betting with the kids by using Monopoly Money? I just found out that some horse-racing fans actually do this with their kids each year, and they read up on the merits of the different horses. I guess I was more into just admiring the different jockey outfits and marveling at those small adult riders. The Kentucky Derby weight limit, by the way, is 126 pounds, and that's for an adult holding their equipment.

Horse toys for kids of all ages

And now, before we get to the Mint-Julep recipe, one more baby item: a handmade horse toy from Little Wooden Wonders of Chanhassen MN. This puzzle measures approximately 7 1/2" long and 6.5" tall. https://www.etsy.com/listing/87157186/wood-animal-puzzle-personalize-horse?ref=shop_home_listingshttps://www.etsy.com/listing/87157186/wood-animal-puzzle-personalize-horse?ref=shop_home_listings


Mint Julep Lib Balm

Set the mood with sweet kissable lips thanks to KiyiKiyi's handmade lip balm. A fresh and minty lip balm treat for your lips! The  perfect summer drink captured in a mint lip balm with nourishing mango butter! This balm is the bomb.


Ride a horse

And if you're really into getting all Derby-y, I suggest that you go ride some horses this spring in lovely Minnesota. One great place to do that is at Acres for Life in Chisago City - I know about this company because of the work they do connecting people to horses in the name of therapy.

The Kentucky Derby Mint Julep RECIPE:

reposted from 2015 source: WCCO's Mike Filed Under: Bourbon, Dixie's On Grand, Kentucky, Kentucky Bourbon, Mike Augustyniak, Mike's Mix, Mint Julep
  • 1.5 oz Kentucky bourbon (bartender Brian recommends a higher-quality bourbon like Blandon’s)
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 6 mint leaves (stems removed)
Add ice to a shaker tin.
Muddle mint leaves over ice, using enough force to shred the mint and slightly crush the ice.
Add bourbon to the ice and mint.
Pour all ingredients into a lowball glass.
Garnish with a mint sprig.

Minnesota Bourbon

Mint Juleps are a traditional cocktail served during the racing season. Here in Minnesota, craft brewing and local distilling is growing every year. There actually is a local bourbon, Pike Street Bourbon. I haven't tried it yet, but wanted to pass this along just in case you're really into doing your Kentucky Derby in a super local fashion from Panther Distillery, the Pike Street Bourbon. Distilled in Osakis, MN just northwest of St. Cloud on Highway 94.

-Kelly Newcomer, handmademn blogger and artist. https://www.etsy.com/shop/kellynewcomer