From hats to Juleps: 4 quick tips for throwing a last-minute Kentucky Derby bash

Bring Louisville to your own backyard for the May 5 Kentucky Derby.

Grab your big ol' hats and place your bets! Bring Louisville to you with a last-minute Kentucky Derby celebration.

Here are some tips for hosting a Derby party.

Dress the part

Print pretty betting cards

Mix a Mint Julep

Method: Muddle whiskey and mint in a mix glass. Add one large cube of ice. Stir, but not so much as to dilute - a baker's dozen revolutions. Add liberal amounts of crushed ice to more than fill the tin cup. Fine strain contents of mix into a glass over crushed ice. Garnish with six mint leaves.

Whip up a classic Derby dish

What you need: 8 slices white bread, toasted 2 pounds roasted turkey breast, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices 4 cups Mornay sauce (recipe below) 12 strips bacon, cooked but not crisp 4 whole tomatoes, cut in wedges

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the toasted bread in half diagonally and place half of the toast points in the bottom of a 9 × 13-inch baking dish. Arrange the turkey breast on top of the bread and cover with the Mornay sauce.

Arrange the bacon on top of the sauce in a crisscross pattern. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top starts to brown and the sides are bubbling. Remove from the oven and place the tomato wedges on top. Return to the oven for 5 minutes, until the tomatoes are slightly cooked.

Remove from the oven and place the remaining toast points around the edges of the dish for garnish. Let cool slightly before serving. The Giant Hot Brown serves eight.

To make the Mornay cheese sauce, follow this recipe, also from The Bourbon Country Cookbook.

Melt one stick of unsalted butter in a 2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Add eight tablespoons of all-purpose flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes. While whisking, add four cups of whole milk in a slow stream and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer, whisking occasionally, for 10 minutes as the sauce thickens.

Remove from the heat and add 5 ounces of coarsely grated Gruyère cheese, whisking until melted. Whisk in 1/8 teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper and 1/8 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg until all the ingredients are fully incorporated. Serve immediately.