Big Hats and Bourbon: Where to Celebrate the Kentucky Derby

Virginia Miller
Our favorite Kentucky Derby thoroughbred: whiskey.
​You may still be fighting the lingering haze of your Cinco de Mayo, but the Kentucky Derby on Saturday will provide yet another excuse to drink a lot and wear a big hat ― just like Mother's Day.

Though we couldn't tell you when the race is or what horses are running, we can give you our roundup for a food and drink Trifecta. Here's where to celebrate the madness in San Francisco:

Derby Days

Where: Hog and Rocks, 3431 19th St. (at San Carlos), 550-862

When: Now through June 1

Cost: $16 whiskey flight; $12 bourbon shrimp

The rundown: Even if you missed the BlackboardEats passcode, you can still enjoy the American whiskey specials at chef Scott Youkilis' casual Mission joint. The whiskey flight features Elijah Craig 12-year Corn Bourbon, Rittenhouse 100 proof Rye, and Bernheim Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey. To compliment the whiskey, grab a plate of shrimp with Old Forrester Bourbon sauce on Carolina rice cakes.

Hats & Horses Kentucky Derby Viewing Party

Where: The Parlor, 2801 Leavenworth (at Beach), 775-5110

When: Sat., May 7, 1-4 p.m.

Cost: $10 suggested donation at the door. You must RSVP.

The rundown: 944 Magazine and the United States Bartender Guild (USBG) are hosting a Kentucky Derby viewing party and fundraiser. Basil Hayden mint juleps will be featured at the bar, and David Nepove ― the newly appointed director of mixology for Southern Wine & Spirits of California ― will lead demonstrations in how to make them. A hosted brunch, chocolate bourbon truffles, and live Derby broadcast make this the best reason to bust out your wildest hat.

Kentucky Derby at Quince

Where: Quince, 470 Pacific (at Montgomery), 775-8500

When: Sat., Apr. 23, 2 p.m.-4 p.m.

Cost: $12-$14 per cocktail

The rundown: If your idea of Derby fun is more Millionaire's Row than general admission, Quince's bar manager Jason "Buffalo" LoGrasso is paying tribute to Churchill Downs with six cocktails each featuring a different whiskey:

Classic mint julep: Weller William Larue Weller 12-year-old Bourbon, mint, simple syrup, and crushed ice
Derby: Buffalo Trace bourbon, Benedictine, and bitters
Horse's Neck: Rittenhouse Rye, ginger ale, and bitters
Pendennis Cocktail: Michter's 10-year whiskey, apricot brandy, lime juice, and Peychaud's bitters
Seelbech: Black Maple Hill bourbon, Cointreau, Angostura bitters, Peychaud's bitters, and sparkling wine
Million-Dollar Filly: an original cocktail featuring Johnny Drum "Private Stock" 101-proof bourbon, lemon juice, egg whites, and apricot brandy ― it'll make you feel like a stud.

Lou Bustamante tweets at @thevillagedrunk. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.

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Roert Brookes
Roert Brookes

If you do not wear a hat, often this can make a lot of difficulties for some models only certain face shapes. Thanks for sharing such a nice thing with us.


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