Kentucky Derby Inspired Movie Night With Secretariat

Pull out your hats for some Southern charm, ladies, because this weekend is the Kentucky Derby! So, we thought we would gear up with Secretariat for “A Fork & A Flick” Friday. We will be sipping Mint Juleps and enjoying the movie this Friday evening. Secretariat is a movie for the whole family to enjoy, so I have two recipes for beverages, so both the kids and the grown-ups can enjoy.


First, the movie, which is a biographical sports drama film produced and released by Walt Disney Pictures and directed by Randall Wallace. Set in the 70’s film chronicles the life of thoroughbred race horse Secretariat, winner of the Triple Crown in 1973. I think this film sets the tone for the Kentucky Derby, as the filming took place on location in Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky. Diane Lane portrays Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery, and John Malkovich plays the trainer, Lucien Laurin. In 1969, Denver housewife and mother Penny Chenery agrees to take over her ailing father’s Meadow Stables in Doswell, Virginia, despite her lack of horse-racing knowledge. With the help of veteran trainer Lucien Laurin (Malkovich), Chenery navigates the male-dominated business, ultimately fostering the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years and one of the greatest racehorses of all time. Based on historical facts, the movie’s drama isn’t about who will win, but about how Penny Chenry Tweedy managed to raise, finance and race her fantastic horse in the “man’s world” of thoroughbred racing that existed then, and still accomplish her responsibilities as a wife and mother. The racing scenes are excitingly shot giving the audience the feeling of actually being in the race and you can actually hear the horse’s breathing and heartbeats as he gallops to victory.

Below are Henry Clay Mint Julep and Alcohol Free Mint Julep recipes to complete the ambience. I’m off to movie night!


Henry Clay Mint Julep


2 ounces Maker’s Mark bourbon

Soda water

8 to 10 mint leaves

Crushed ice

1 teaspoon sugar

Lemon twist



Place mint leaves, sugar and a small measure of bourbon in a glass. Muddle with spoon. Half fill the glass with ice and gently stir mixture. Fill with remaining ice, add the rest of bourbon and top off with soda water. Add a squeeze of lemon and garnish with fresh sprig of mint.


Alcohol-Free Mint Julep


1/4 cup water

1/4 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

2 cups crushed ice

1/2 cup prepared lemonade (fresh lemonade if you have the time to make it)

Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish


Make mint infused simple syrup in a small saucepan by combining the water, sugar and 1 tablespoon of chopped mint. Stir and bring to a boil. Cook until sugar has dissolved, then remove from heat and set aside to cool. After about an hour, strain out mint leaves.

Fill 2 cups or frozen goblets with crushed ice. Pour 1/2 of the lemonade into each glass and top with a splash of the sugar syrup. Garnish each with a mint sprig and a straw. Serve on a silver platter.



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