A Guide to the Ultimate DIY Derby Party


Being that the race itself lasts literally two minutes, it’s unquestionably an abundance of mint juleps that help fuel all-day Kentucky Derby celebrations. And since Maison Premiere is basically Brooklyn’s best source for the mint-accented, bourbon-tinged tipples (offering multiple variations daily) we turned to bar director, Will Elliott, for recipes. Couple them with Sweet Chick’s hearty take on the Louisville staple, the “hot brown” (which will provide all the sustenance you’ll need for imbibing in more mint juleps, of course), and you’ll have all the makings of a DIY Derby party; seersucker not required.
San Domingo Julep (courtesy of bar director Will Elliott)
Do not skimp on aromatics, specifically mint. Buy the store out of mint. This is the most important part of the julep, more important even than the quality of the bourbon.
.25 oz of 2:1 Demerara syrup
2 oz Diplomatico Reserva
Fresh mint
Build in a julep tin with crushed ice. Serve in a julep glass with a mint bouquet.
Barber Of Seville
It’s all about the execution of the julep. Proper glassware is important, or in this case, proper tins. While a true julep tin is best, anything metal will suffice. Metal tins conduct cold most effectively, and lead to nice, frosted juleps. The frostier, the better.
3 dashes Orange Bitters
.5 vial Orange Flower Water
.5 oz lemon
.25 oz orgeat
.5 oz Old Overholt
.75 oz Cappeletti
1 oz Hidalgo Manzanilla
Build in a julep tin with crushed ice. Serve in a julep glass with a parasol, shaved marcona almond and orange zest.
Pelican Club
Crushed ice is another essential element to the perfect julep. For a small party, you can use the crushed ice function on your fridge, and for something larger you can buy an ice crusher OR you could go the tried and true method of putting ice cubes in a plastic bag and crushing them with a mallet.

3 dashes Angostura
4 sprays of Red Cardamom Tincture
1 tsp Demarara
.5 oz raspberry syrup
.75 oz lemon
1 oz Four Roses
1 oz Yaguara
Build in a julep tin with crushed ice. Serve in a julep glass with 1 lime twist, 1 raspberry, and red cardamom tincture.


“Hot Brown” Chicken and Waffles (courtesy of Sweet Chick)
Easy enough to prepare in advance in order to feed large crowds, this fun variation on the soul food staple is inspired by Louisville’s signature, open-faced hot brown sandwich; turkey and bacon slathered in cheese-thickened béchamel and broiled.
For the Fried Chicken
½ cup sweet tea
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp dried thyme, divided
7 tbsp kosher salt, divided
2 tbsp plus 1 ½ tsp. ground black pepper, divided
1 whole chicken, cut or 10 separate chicken pieces (thigh drumsticks, wings and breasts)
2 cups buttermilk
4 cups flour
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tbsp paprika
4 cups vegetable oil
1. Combine 8 cups of water, sweet tea, oregano, garlic powder, 1 tbsp. thyme, 6 tbsp. salt and 2 tbsp. black pepper in a large pot to create a brine. Add the chicken pieces, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours (for best results try brining overnight).
2. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels.
3. Pour buttermilk in a large bowl. In a second large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, paprika, 1 tbsp. thyme, 1 tbsp, kosher salt, and 1 ½ tsp. black pepper.
4. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture to completely coat, then shake well to remove the excess. Then dip chicken completely in the buttermilk, then dredge again in the flour mixture.
5. Add the vegetable oil to a 12” cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet and heat to 300°. Carefully place half the chicken pieces into the pan. Cook chicken in oil for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping once, until the chicken is golden-brown and crispy, and the internal temperature reaches 165°.  Let the cooked chicken drain on paper towels or a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Return the oil to 300° and repeat with the remaining pieces.
For the Waffles 
10 oz flour
3/4 tsp salt
1tbs + 3/4 tsp baking powder
4 yolks
15oz milk
5oz melted butter
4 egg whites
2tbs +1tsp sugar
1 cup pecans
1. Combine first 3 ingredients into a bowl (flour, salt, baking powder)
2. Add next 3 ingredients (yolks, milk, melted butter). Whisk until combined, small lumps are ok.
3. In a second bowl, whip whites to soft peaks, add sugar, whip to stiff peaks
4. Gently fold the whites into the bowl with first 6 ingredients
5. Pre-heat waffle iron and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pour individual servings of batter of onto hot waffle iron. Add a small handful of pecans. Cook until golden brown
For the Hot Brown
3oz cheddar, finely shredded
3oz gruyere, finely shredded
2oz fontina, finely shredded
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
6 strips thick cut bacon, cooked and diced
4oz roasted turkey, diced in 1/2″ cubes
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1. In a small sauce pot, heat milk and cream to a bare simmer
2. Meanwhile, in a separate pot over med-low heat, melt butter and whisk in butter until a roux is formed
3. Slowly, a bit at a time, whisk in hot milk mixture
4. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in cheddar, gruyere and fontina cheeses a bit at a time, ensuring cheese is fully incorporated before adding the next batch
5. Once cheese is melted, stir in bacon and roasted turkey
6. To serve, slightly warm béchamel mixture over very low heat and spoon over hot fried chicken and garnish with parmesan cheese. Serve with pecan waffles
Maison Premiere: 298 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg
Sweet Chick: 164 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg


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