Tipple Crown: Four Ways to Celebrate Derby Day 2015

Your best bet for Mint Juleps in Boston this weekend.
Mint Julep at Drink

Mint Julep at Drink / Courtesy photo by Susie Cushner

May 2 marks the return of Derby Day, that high holiday of the horsey set—a day for hat worship, Mint Juleps, and gonzo journalism. But let’s be honest: It’s mostly about the Mint Juleps. And luckily, you don’t have to go to Kentucky for those.

Here are three ways to celebrate Derby Day in Boston (and beyond) this year.

Canary Square

Jamaica Plain’s Canary Square / Courtesy photo

Canary Square

Over in JP, Canary Square is celebrating the “Race to the Triple Crown.” This weekend, they’re officially opening up their patio, and serving special cocktails ($11 apiece) associated with the three Triple Crown Horse races. On May 2, you can order Mint Juleps in honor of the Kentucky Derby. On May 16, try Canary Square’s take on the Black-Eyed Susan: the oft-maligned but mixologically intriguing official drink of Baltimore’s Preakness. Then, on June 6, you can try the Belmont Jewel, the bourbon/lemonade/pomegranate concoction that is the new official drink of New York’s Belmont Stakes. And for those of you who see Derby Day as more than just convenient excuse to get sloshed on minty bourbon drinks, Canary Square assures us that they’ll also be screening the race on their TVs inside, so one will have to miss “the best two minutes in sports.”

435 S Huntington Ave., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-2500, canarysquare.com.

Mint Julep at Drink

Mint Julep at Drink / Courtesy photo by Susie Cushner

Drink

This year, thoroughbred cocktail joint Drink in getting into the spirit by throwing their sixth annual Derby Day bash. In addition to snacks, the entry fee gets you three drinks—making it an excellent time to get acquainted with Drink’s superlative julep. (Additional drinks are available for $10 each.) Watch the live broadcast of the race, and compete in their contests for best hat and best limerick. And even if all that bourbon makes your memory a bit hazy, you’ll still have a memento of the evening: All guests receive an official 141st Kentucky Derby commemorative glass.

$80 per person, May 2, 3-7 p.m., 348 Congress St., Boston, 617-695-1806, drinkfortpoint.com.

Olde Magoun’s Saloon

Meanwhile, over in Somerville’s Magoun Square, the bourbon will be flowing. In addition to whipping up Mint Juleps, Olde Magoun’s is pouring 30 different types of bourbon: “Keep your eyes open for a Pappy Van Winkle sighting,” they tell us. They’re also serving a special Kentucky-inspired menu featuring a pork chop sandwich, burgo stew, and the infamous Hot Brown—the Mornay-drenched turkey-and-bacon open-faced sandwich invented at Louisville’s Brown Hotel in 1926.

May 2, 3-7 p.m., 518 Medford St., Somerville, 617-776-2600, magounssaloon.com.

Paragon Carousel

You’d be hard-pressed to find a horsier way to celebrate Derby Day around (and around and around) these parts than at Nantasket Beach’s Paragon Carousel, where the horses are wooden and the drinks are even stiffer. In addition to six carousel “races,” The annual fundraising celebration for this 87-year-old amusement ride comes correct with cocktail-hour appetizers, a buffet, and “authentic Mint Juleps.”

$30, May 1, 7 p.m., Paragon Carousel, 205 Nantasket Ave., Hull, 781-925-0472, paragoncarousel.com.


Shaula Clark Shaula Clark, Associate Editor sclark@bostonmagazine.com