If ever there was a sporting event designed for cocktails, it’s the Kentucky Derby.  Coming up this weekend May 4th, it’s a great excuse to don that seersucker suit or that enormous hat and go out and drink mint juleps, or some variation thereon.  Here are our top picks of events & bar specials going on in NYC — as always if you know of one we’re missing, let us know.

Clover Club’s 4th Annual Bulleit Derby Party:  For those of you who RSVP on Facebook, there will be free juleps & snacks handed out all around. Details here.

Maison Premiere: Featuring bourbon cured ham sandwiches, strawberry shortcake, an extensive menu of $9 Mint Juleps showcasing Four Roses Bourbon, along with music provided by the Maison Premiere House Band. Festivities go from 12-8pm, and there’s a pretty sweet best-outfit contest going on too - get all the details here.

The Vault at Pfaff’s: Three kinds of julep plus complimentary Southern hors d’oeuvres, pick ‘em contests, best hat contest, bluegrass music and more. Festivities start at 4pm. Reservations are recommended: (212) 253-5421

No-Mint Juleps at Amor y Amargo: The wonderful Sother Teague will be mixing up his twist on the classic with bourbon and Branca Menta at this EV hole in the wall.

Avuá Juleps at Desnuda: Our new favorite liquor brand – Avuá Cachaca – will be featured in juleps at the new Williamsburg bar Desnuda.

Derby Day BBQ Bash @ Maysville: Real Kentucky BBQ, made across the street with a custom-built rig made in Birmingham, AL and brought to NYC especially for the event.  It doesn’t get much more authentic than that.  Deets here.

(Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)