Southern Hospitality: A Fresh Cocktail + Lovely Looks for Derby Day

Mint juleps, elegant hats, and darling dresses…talk ‘Derby to me — Kentucky Derby, that is! The widely beloved sporting event is now in its 142nd year, and the looks and libations that characterize it are almost as exciting as the race itself. The ‘Run for the Roses’ traditions are something any cocktail lover or fashionista can appreciate, so we decided to stir-up some southern charm of our own!

Check out how we styled three ModEmployees in gorgeous getups and head-turning hats perfect for Derby day…

ModStylist Kelsey (pictured left) enjoys dressing up on special occasions and feels that her ensemble would be fantastic for a plethora of parties. She says, “I define the Sweet Sips Dress as casual romance. The midi length and ruffle sleeves keep it demure and sophisticated for a Derby event, but I could easily see myself wearing it for a picnic, baby shower, or a sweet daytime date.”

Chuck, a Customer Care Specialist (pictured middle), thinks the vibrant hues in her floral frock suit her sassy purple strands incredibly well. “Being an artist, I really love playing with colors. I love when I can find a dress that matches my hair perfectly. It provides another level of accessorizing!,” she says.

ModStylist Megan (pictured right), is a true southern belle who originally hails from Tennessee, and she believes her Derby hat adds an excellent finishing touch. “This hat makes me so happy,” she says. “I feel instantly fancy and put-together, and it really elevates my whole look. Why am I not wearing this every day?!”

Our Derby party would be seriously lacking without a savory cocktail served straight out of the gate! The fabled mint julep has been a staple at Churchill Downs for nearly a century, with over 100,000 refreshing bevvies sold at the event each year. We opted to put a tasty twist on the traditional libation when we concocted our own variation of the southern specialty, and dubbed it the ModCloth Mint Julep!


What You’ll Need:

  • Fresh mint
  • Crushed ice
  • 2 oz Kentucky bourbon
  • 1 oz vanilla syrup

Tip: Substituting the standard recipe’s simple syrup ingredient for one with vanilla-infused flavoring makes all the difference!


  1. Put a few mint leaves in your glass and add the vanilla syrup. Gently muddle.
  2. Add the bourbon and give it a little stir to mix it up.
  3. Fill the glass with crushed ice and garnish with a bunch of mint.

If any ‘neigh-sayers’ proclaim that you can’t produce a potent potion with just a few magical ingredients, prove ’em wrong with this Derby day crowd-pleaser! And what better way to celebrate the most exciting two minutes in sports than with a drink that requires even less time to create? Best of all, you won’t have to deal with the task of taking your eyes off the race to pour a refill, because this delectable drink is a slow sipper.

+Have you ever been to the Bluegrass State to partake in all things Kentucky? Tell us about your Derby day in the comments below. And if you’re looking for more ideas for your next southern-themed soiree, be sure to browse our assortment of charming headwear and chic cocktail party attire!

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