Martha Stewart shares Kentucky Derby menu, mint julep station and hosting tips (2024)

If you're not one of the 150,000 spectators planning to sip mint juleps trackside at Churchill Downs for the 150th Kentucky Derby, Martha Stewart has your at-home party plans covered.

Who better than the culinary and lifestyle expert to create an authentic Derby Day soiree with easy-to-prep recipes for everything from deviled eggs to pimento cheese, plus tips to make the ultimate mint julep station?

Martha Stewart shares Kentucky Derby menu, mint julep station and hosting tips (1)

The renowned cookbook author and TV host teamed up with Churchill Downs Racetrack for the 150th Run for the Roses to create the ultimate race-day soiree, so fans can create an elevated experience infused with timeless traditions at home.

"Hosting an at-home Derby celebration is about creating memorable moments with loved ones, savoring delicious food and embracing the overall spirit that makes Derby Day special," Stewart said in a statement.

She called her menu "a culinary journey," with each dish intended to serve as "a tribute to the flavors of this storied historic event."

Martha Stewart's recipes and tips for the 150th Kentucky Derby

Benedictine Dip

Martha Stewart shares Kentucky Derby menu, mint julep station and hosting tips (2)


1/2 large hot house cucumber, peeled and seeded

1 shallot, finely diced

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 tablespoon green Tabasco sauce

Kosher salt, to taste

Assorted carrots, to serve

Celery, to serve

Sugar snap peas, to serve


Grate the cucumber into a bowl lined with a strainer and cheesecloth. Press the excess liquid out of the cucumber.

Combine in the carafe of a food processor drained cucumber, shallot, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, green Tabasco and Kosher salt. Pulse until the mixture is smooth.

Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with assorted carrots, celery and sugar snap peas.

Pimento Cheese

2 cups shredded extra-sharp orange cheddar cheese
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise
4-ounce jar diced pimento, drained
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Toast points, for serving
Cucumber cups, for serving


Combine in a large bowl cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, pimentos, jalapeno, cayenne (if using) and onion powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve on toast points and cucumber cups.

Deviled Eggs

Yield: Makes 24

Tip: You can slice a small piece off the bottom of each boiled egg half to keep eggs from toppling over!

12 silkie eggs (medium sized eggs)
1/4 cup mayonnaise, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 to 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (for classic, optional for other flavors)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Garnishes (optional):
Trout roe
Smoked salmon
Finely chopped or sprigs of dill, chives, tarragon
Chopped capers
Julienned or finely diced radish or cucumber
Crushed Italian chili peppers
Sweet paprika


Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Fill a large pot with 2 inches of water, insert a steamer basket and bring water to a boil. Add eggs, cover and steam for 12 minutes (13 minutes for large eggs). Remove eggs from pot, transfer to ice bath to stop cooking.

Peel the eggs and cut in half lengthwise (for cleanest eggs, wipe blade clean between cuts) Remove yolks, keeping whites intact.

Mash yolks with a fork, then transfer to a coarse mesh sieve and use a rubber spatula to press the yolks through the sieve into a medium bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup mayonnaise, Dijon, salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Stir in butter until creamy and smooth (if not creamy enough, add more mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon at a time). Taste and adjust for seasoning.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star (or other large) tip and fill each half egg. Can be made ahead up to this point and refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 hours.

To serve: Garnish as desired with caviar, herbs, capers, salmon, radishes, paprika and chilis.


- Dill: Blend yolk mixture with 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill.

- Tomato: Omit mustard, blend yolk mixture with 2 to 3 teaspoons sundried tomato paste and 1/4 teaspoon paprika.

Delicious Kentucky Derby recipes to make at home: fried chicken salad sandwiches, bourbon milkshakes and more

Hot Crab Dip

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
3 scallions, very finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fresh jumbo lump crab


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Stir together in a large bowl cream cheese, heavy cream, sour cream, scallions, Worcestershire sauce, Gruyere cheese and dry mustard. Season with salt and pepper; mix to combine. Gently fold in crab, making sure not to break up the crab. Transfer to a small ramekin and bake until bubbling. Allow to cool slightly before serving with shortbread crackers.

Big-Batch Lemon-Mint Julep

Martha Stewart shares Kentucky Derby menu, mint julep station and hosting tips (4)

Yield: 16 drinks

17 lemons
4 cups granulated sugar
32 sprigs mint
Ice cubes or crushed ice
3 cups Kentucky bourbon
Turbinado or granulated sugar, for rims of glasses


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and a wire rack; set aside. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest of 4 lemons in wide strips. Combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add lemon zest and simmer until translucent, about 1 hour. Let zest cool in liquid. Transfer zest to wire rack to dry.

Squeeze the lemons, reserving rinds and juice separately. In a large saucepan, combine remaining 3 cups sugar and 3 cups water, stirring until dissolved. Add lemon rinds, and cook over medium heat until liquid becomes syrupy, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand until room temperature. Remove, and discard lemon rinds. Syrup will keep refrigerated for at least a week.

Spread turbinado or granulated sugar on a small plate. Pour about 1/4 cup lemon juice into a bowl. Dip the rims of 16 mint-julep cups or tall glasses in the bowl of lemon juice, then dip the glasses in sugar to create a sugared rim.

Use a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon to crush a few mint leaves in the bottom of each glass. Fill glasses with ice cubes or crushed ice. Add about 1/4 cup each lemon juice and lemon rind syrup.

Top each with 1 1/2 ounces bourbon. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a candied lemon peel.

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Martha Stewart's mint julep station tips

  • While silver julep cups are traditional, use copper julep cups for a fresh look.
  • Incorporate unusual vessels for holding drink ice or for chilling wine bottles; vintage trays and bowls of all materials mix and match beautifully.
  • Line drinking glasses on trays to keep the bar looking neat.
  • Rim julep cups with brown sugar for a pretty finish to the glass.

Martha's Derby-inspired tablescape tips

  • Use caramelized biscuit cookie crumbs to make a faux racetrack.
  • Work with moss to mimic grass on the grounds.
  • Place model horses along the racetrack to simulate racing.
  • Set up duplicate food stations on the service table so guests can access food from both sides.
Martha Stewart shares Kentucky Derby menu, mint julep station and hosting tips (2024)


How much does a mint julep cost at the Kentucky Derby? ›

The specialties — a Mint Julep, Oaks Lily, Spire or Margarita — are all $22. For any co*cktail, you're going to pay at least $18. Premium beers and seltzers are $14, and just a dollar less for domestics. Bartenders at the track said the special drinks were $18 last year, so they are $5 more than last year.

What food is served for the Kentucky Derby? ›

And your Derby party won't be complete without some Southern Fried Chicken or Kentucky Hot Brown Mac and Cheese. Chocolate Pecan Pie with Bourbon (aka Derby Pie) is the traditional dessert for the day, but a Red Velvet Cake will have its own fans. Or maybe some Bacon-Bourbon Brownies are in order?

How many mint Juleps are sold during the Kentucky Derby? ›

On Derby weekend, nearly 120,000 mint juleps are served. This requires more than 10,000 bottles of bourbon, 1,000 pounds of mint leaves, and 60,000 pounds of ice. But how did the mint julep become the official drink of the Kentucky Derby?

How much mint does the Kentucky Derby use? ›

The Kentucky Derby reports there are nearly 120,000 mint juleps sold during the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby each year. The drinks, made with Old Forester mint julep ready-to-serve co*cktail, require 10,000 bottles of the mix and 1,000 pounds of mint and 60,000 pounds of ice.

How much does it cost to get in the infield at the Kentucky Derby? ›

What are Kentucky Derby ticket prices now? Here's a look at available tickets and prices according to Ticketmaster as of April 26: Infield General Admission: $130-$144. Reserved seating: starting at $923 and selling upward of $10,781.

Why are mint Juleps so expensive? ›

The price tag is thanks to the silver vehicle in which the co*cktail is served. (You can raise the stakes by purchasing the gold-plated $2,500 “Commonwealth” cup as well).

How much does the average Kentucky Derby horse cost? ›

The short answer is that it costs a lot – the average auction price of horses in the 2023 Derby field was around $446,000, and between training, healthcare, equipment and food, you're probably spending about $50,000 before even getting into the Derby particulars.

What is the 2500 co*cktail at the Kentucky Derby? ›

A total of just 100 julep cups went on sale the first week of April. Numbers 1 through 11 (the gold plated selections) were selling for $2,500 each, and the silver-plated cups 12 through 100 were priced at $1,000.


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