Some thought it was a longer shot than Mine That Bird to think that I would find enough people interested in the Kentucky Derby here in the Western Suburbs and Greater Chicagoland area to pull off a daylong traditional Derby Party. I’ve always liked longshots and Saturday turned out to be the perfect day for bringing a little Derby tradition to our Naperville home. With much thanks to my wife and fellow co-hosts of Tim Courtney, John Dallas Jr., Eric Broughton and Jason Jacobsohn… better known as the Fantastic Five.
As I mentioned in our previous posting, the was plenty of fresh mint juleps and Kentucky food, including Keene’s Kentucky Country Ham from Bardstown, Derby biscuits, Derby Pie from my mom’s own recipe, Roasted Garlic and Marscapone Cheese Grits, Fried Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, Corn Casserole, homemade Kentucky Beer Cheese and much more. I would like to publicly thank my wife for all of her efforts, support and tolerance in the construction of this genuine Kentucky experience. I’m from Kentucky and she’s from New York so let’s just say she was a great sport. I also want to thank my mother-in-law who was in town and provided allot of great help.
To get everyone in the full spirit, we featured a special bourbon tasting which consisted of 8 different Kentucky Bourbons. In addition to the bottle of Willett Pot Still Reserve we contributed, other guests opted to bring a bottle as well. In the end, we had the following Kentucky brands: Willett, Jefferson’s Reserve, Bulleit, Knob Creek, Woodford Reserve, Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam and Evan Williams. Judging by the bourbon levels in each bottle on Sunday morning, the clear favorites were the Willett Pot Still Reserve and Woodford Reserve.
In our party’s “winner takes all” betting pool on the Derby race, I will say that nobody picked the 50-1 shocker of Mine That Bird. Of course, at the end of the day a great Derby Party is all about a gathering of great people and I want to thank everyone for coming out to Naperville to share in this wonderful tradition.