Lexington, Kentucky

Derby Day (minus the Derby) With Jon Carloftis

By: Jon Carloftis

Nothing can stop a Kentuckian from celebrating on the first Saturday in May and Jon Carloftis is here to show you how. Here’s what you’ll need to follow along at home.

Derby Day at Botherum

Follow award-winning garden designer and Lexington native Jon Carloftis as he tours his historic home and shows you how to celebrate the Kentucky Derby in style (even when there’s no Kentucky Derby).

Watch the video



Prosecco and Wine of Choice
West 6th IPA
Mint Juleps with KY Kernel Mint
Assortment of Bourbons for Bourbon Tasting

Maker’s Mark Old Fashioned Punch

750mL of Maker’s Mark
1 Bottle Aromatic Bitters
1 Jar Luxardo Cherries (including juice)
Whatever fruit you have on hand. Store in fridge, the longer stored the better.


Shrimp – Thaw and drain. Put on bowl of ice and use favorite cocktail sauce.
Bourbon Barrel Smoked Pecans and Peanuts
Clifton Farms Country Ham – Cooked and plated.
Jake’s Country Sausage – Cooked in iron skillet.
Sister Schubert’s Rolls – Rub with Kerrygold Butter.
Organic Skinless Chicken Thighs – Rolled in Martha White self-rising cornmeal fried in peanut oil.
Vegetables – Use your favorite dip.
Salmon – Cleaned. Pour olive oil, dried dill and cracked peppercorn then bake.

Olive Nut

6-8 Ounces Philadelphia Cream Cheese
3 Tablespoons Duke’s Mayonnaise
1 1/2 Cups chopped olives with pimento
1 Cup or more of chopped pecans
5 Tablespoons olive juice

Soften cream cheese for at least an hour. Add all ingredients and blend with mixer. Can be used as a dip with crackers or to make finger sandwiches. Or use to stuff celery and serve on a veggie tray. Serves 20 as a dip and keeps in the refrigerator up to 3 weeks.


6-8 Ounces Philadelphia Cream Cheese
2 Drops of green food coloring
2/3 Cup Duke’s Mayonnaise
3 Medium cucumbers, peeled
1 to 2 Teaspoons of grated onion juice
1 Teaspoon salt

Leave cream cheese out an hour to soften. Peel cucumbers and slice down the middle, top to bottom. Take a spoon and scoop the seeds out and discard. Grate the cucumber on the large side of grater. Salt the cucumber and toss. Let sit in colander for an hour to “weep,” stirring occasionally and pressing out juice. In meantime beat cream cheese with food coloring and mayonnaise. Add cucumber, and onion. Mix well. Serve on finger sandwiches or with crackers or vegetables. Serves 20 when used as a dip.


Bauer’s Modjeskas and Bourbon Sea Salt Caramels
Chocolate Covered Raisins
Dried Cherries
Chocolate Covered Peanuts with Peanut Butter
Fresh Berries

Jon Carloftis

When award-winning garden designer Jon Carloftis bought the historic Botherum home in 2012, it had been untouched for 15 years and was overrun with weeds and raccoons. Wanting to restore the home to its original glory without turning it into a museum, Jon sought to respect the character and integrity of the site while incorporating his own personalized, contemporary touches. So, he took his imaginative, wild style and successfully turned an abandoned nineteenth-century site into a historic Lexington treasure. To learn more about Jon and to see more examples of his garden designs, check out his book, Beautiful Gardens of Kentucky.

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