Kentucky Derby Party Recipes

Uros Krstic

Kentucky Derby Party Recipes! | Smarty Had A Party

Fun Fact: Bourbon is the only spirit that's strictly produced in the United States. Its origins reach back almost as far as the founding of the nation. While it can be made anywhere in the US, Kentucky takes the cake (or barrel) for bourbon production. As Derby Day draws near, bourbon is in high demand. Besides its presence in the traditional mint julep, it also makes for a unique ingredient in cooking. Here are two great recipes that call for bourbon: boozy meatballs and bourbon balls.

What you need for you Derby party recipes! | Smarty Had A Party

What you need:

Give party guests favor boxes of bourbon balls for a cute take-home treat! | Smarty Had A Party

Bourbon Balls Recipe


  • 1 package (12 oz.) vanilla wafers, finely crushed
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, plus more for coating
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup bourbon


  1. Mix vanilla wafers, pecans, powdered sugar and cocoa in a bowl.
  2. Stir corn syrup and bourbon together. Add bourbon mixture to wafer mixture and stir until combined.
  3. Shape into 1-inch balls and then roll in additional powdered sugar.
  4. Store in airtight container until ready to place in favor boxes for your guests!

Serve Boozy Meatballs in mini crock pots at your Kentucky Derby affair! | Smarty Had A Party

Boozy Meatballs Recipe


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound frozen meatballs


  1. Combine all ingredients except meatballs in a sauce pan and mix until well combined.
  2. Add meatballs to sauce and stir. Cook over medium heat until it begins to bubble.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour or more.
  4. Serve in our large cooking pots for the perfect display!

For more of our favorite Kentucky Derby party ideas and recipes, check out our Sporting Events board on Pinterest!

Much Party Love, Smarties!


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