COCKTAILS,  ENTERTAINING,  For Your Bar,  GATHERINGS,  KENTUCKY DERBY,  Spring Entertaining,  Summer Entertaining

Cinco vs Derby. Lime vs Mint. The battle continues.

Kentucky Derby or Cinco de Mayo? Mint Julep or Margarita? It is an age-old question leading up to the first weekend in May. Well OK, maybe not age-old but still, a question that I  have asked every year in May during my adult entertaining years.

Living in the North East most of my life Cinco de Mayo was my excuse to have a party and my kick off to summer. One month before the traditional Memorial Day weekend, I would send out the invite and pray for a warm sunny day to host friends for guacamole, salsa, margaritas and the always popular “Cinco Brownies” outside on the patio. Then one year, two friends RSVP’d to the invite that they would be late arriving due to a Derby Party! “What is this Derby you speak of? “ I asked. “The Kentucky Derby of course!” They quickly responded. Now of course I had heard of the Derby but never having attended an official party I had no idea it was such a big deal.

When they showed up dressed to the nine’s in their summer whites and fancy hats, I was suddenly torn. An excuse to get overly dressed up in summer attire, and then to also find out there is even a special drink with the main ingredient of Mint served in a fancy silver cup! Could there be a better way to kick off the summer entertaining season? It was too much for my hostess brain to handle.

This year, as it happens every so many years, the two fall on the exact same weekend and we are once again asked to choose. Cinco or Derby? Margarita or Julep? How can one decide? Perhaps we can create Derby de Mayo? Which one will YOU celebrate? In the comments below share which one if your favorite and how you will be celebrating this year.

In the meantime, as a good hostess would, I leave you with two cocktails. One recipe for the classic Mint Julep and the other my favorite twist on a Margarita, the Prickly Pear Margarita. Whichever  you choose please enjoy Safely!

{BONUS: looking for an arrangement for your Derby Celebration? Give you Julep cups double use with this classic centerpiece.}



Ingredients {serves 1}

  • 1 ounce minted simple syrup
  • 2 cups crushed ice
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • Fresh mint sprig, for garnish


In a silver Julep cup, add minted simple syrup, then 1 cup crushed ice, bourbon, and splash of water. Add enough of remaining ice to fill glass. Stir well, garnish with mint sprig and proper straw.



Ingredients {serves 4}

  • 8 ounces white tequila
  • 4 ounces Cointreau
  • 4 ounces cactus pear syrup
  • 2 ounces fresh lime juice
  • Crushed ice
  • Lime wedge, for garnish
  • Coarse salt, optional


Combine tequila, orange-flavored liqueur, cactus pear syrup, lime juice and ice in a shaker. Serve over ice in rocks glass and garnish with lime.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.