05/10/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Kentucky Derby: Cocktail Recipes, Celebrity Betters, And, Of Course, Really Bad Hats (PICTURES)

**UPDATE**: Big Brown was Saturday's big winner, but things did not end so well for second placer Eight Belles, who had to be put down after breaking both her front ankles.

You only have a year left to plan for the 2009 Kentucky Derby, so here's your guide to everything Derby-related. First up: Drinks!

Everybody's know that the most important aspect of Kentucky Derby day is drinking. Here is the official Kentucky Derby Mint Julep recipe:

Early Times Mint Julep

* 2 cups sugar
* 2 cups water
* Sprigs of fresh mint
* Crushed ice
* Early Times Kentucky Whiskey
* Silver Julep Cups

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Early Times Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

For some other drink options, you can check out Drink Of The Week, where they have Derby-themed recipes for drinks like "The Crown Of Roses" and the "Royal Stretch".

For ideas on how to serve those cocktails with panache (plus more recipes), read celebrity party planner Marcy Blum's post How To Throw A Killer Kentucky Derby Party.

Now that you're nice and liquored up, it's a great time to start gambling. Place your Kentucky Derby bets here or put all that Kentucky Derby money here. The race's official site also has a great list of websites for licensed and safe wagering.

It's customary to get all dolled up up for the Kentucky Derby, so generally people put a lot of work into it. Have a look at some celebrity attendees who have dressed to the nines over the years:


And, finally, the next best thing about the Derby is the horse names. At times absurd yet somehow regal, there's nothing more fun than trying to make up your own (Swift Pickle, anyone?). For some guidelines on how to name your horse, you can consult eHow's "How To Name A Racehorse".

Curious about the real-life horses? You can check out this rundown of the official Kentucky Derby contenders.

So now you're all set! How are you planning on spending the big day? Think we missed anything? Share all your recipes, plans, and ideas below!