Derby Dining

Running since 1875, the Kentucky Derby is the oldest sporting event in the United States. Its humble beginnings started with fifteen horses, a mile and a half race track, and roughly ten thousand attendees. Now, nearly 144 years later, the race has grown into an American tradition as the reace and all its associations are eagerly anticipated every year. Roses, gambling, cocktails, and parties are just a few of the expectations when May rolls around, and Red Lightning Books doesn't want to disappoint. This year whether you're a Kentucky native, an avid race fan, or just want to have a good time in the sunshine, we have hand-selected recipes just for you from some of our top selling books. They're sure to guarantee your party is a winner! 

The Mint Julep 




From How to Drink Like a Mobster

By Albert Schmid 




*Makes one serving 

  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 2-3 ounces bourbon
  • 4-6 mint leaves
  • mint sprig


  1. Add simple syrup to a pewter or silver julep cup.
  2. Lay the leaves out on your palm and lightly smack them with your other hand. Add them to the cup.
  3. Add bourbon​ and mix.
  4. Then add crushed ice.
  5. Smack the mint sprig between your hands and add to the julep.
  6. Serve.  

Hot Brown Appetizer



From Hot Brown

By Albert Schmid   

*Makes 24 small servings




  • 12 miniature bagels, split in half for 24 bite-size morsels

  • 2 cups crème sauce or béchamel sauce

  • 24 ounces turkey, sliced

  • 2 tomatoes, diced

  • 12 strips bacon, cooked and diced

  • 2 bunches green onion, chopped

  • 12 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated

  • 6 ounces cheddar cheese, grated

  1. Arrange the bagel halves on a sheet pan lined with aluminun foil. 
  2. Warm the  crème sauce or béchamel sauce on the stove then add half the parmesan cheese and continue to warm until the cheese is melted. (You now have Mornay sauce.)
  3. Place the turkey on top of the bagels.
  4. Pour a dollop of the warm Mornay sauce over the top of the turkey on the bagel. 
  5. Top with the other half of the Parmesan cheese and teh cheddar cheese.
  6. Warm in the oven until the turkey is warmed through, then pull the sheet pan from the oven. 
  7. Sprinkle the diced tomato, bacon, and green onions over the bagels. 
  8. Place the seet pan under the broiler again briefly to warm and then serve immediately.              

Flourless Chocolate Brownies with Bourbon Sea Salt and Bourbon Smoked Sugar    



From How to Be a Bourbon Badass

By Linda Ruffenach 

*Serving size varies




  • 3/4 semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sifted cocoa 

For the glaze: 

  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey 
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 2 teaspoons bourbon-smoked sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons bourbon-smoked sugar or coarse Demerara (large-crystal raw) sugar 
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray an 8 × 8–inch pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a small saucepan on low heat, melt together chocolate chips and butter.
  3. Add sugar. Stir on low heat until sugar melts. Blend in bourbon.
  4. Remove from heat and whisk in eggs one by one, until fully blended. Add cocoa. Blend until the batter is smooth.
  5. Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 25–35 minutes. 
*The center of the cake will be slightly firm but not hard. Be careful not to overbake.
For the glaze:
  1. Melt together chocolate chips and butter.
  2. Once melted, remove from heat and add milk, honey, and bourbon. Stir until smooth and glossy.
  3. Once cake is fully cooled, pour glaze in the middle of the cake and spread evenly over the cake. Refrigerate for at least two hours.​
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together bourbon-smoked sea salt and bourbon-smoked sugar.
  5. When you are ready to serve, slide a knife around the sides of the pan and cut into small squares.
  6. Dip the glazed side of each brownie into the sugar-salt mixture and serve.