Let’s face it. Watching the Triple Crown races on TV is not that bad. You get the close ups. You actually hear what is said in interviews. And – you can still have each race’s signature drink!
Kentucky Derby – The Mint Julep
During his travels in Europe, Colonel M. Lewis Clark visited England and after attending the Epsom Derby, realized that this was precisely what Kentucky needed. Not to mention, the event could even be used to market and sell bourbon. Mint juleps, which contain bourbon, mint, sugar and water, form an important part of the Derby tradition to this day and is the official drink of The Derby since 1938.
4-5 fresh mint sprigs
2 1/5 oz bourbon
2 sugar cubes
or 1/2 oz simple syrup
Muddle mint leaves and sugar/simple syrup in a julep cup. Fill the glass with shaved or crushed ice and add bourbon. Stir briskly until the glass becomes frosty. Add more ice and stir again before serving. Add sprigs of mint into the ice and garnish with a mint sprig so that the partaker will get the aroma.
Preakness Stakes –
The Black-Eyed Susan
The name of the drink is taken from the flowers used to make the winners blanket at the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, Maryland. The same flower has also given the name to The Black Eyed Susan Stake, the de facto Second Jewel of the Filly Triple Crown, which is run the day before the Preakness.
1 1/4 oz bourbon
3/4 oz vodka
3 oz sweet and sour mix
2 oz orange juice
orange slice and cherry for garnish
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain over ice into a collins glass. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.
Belmont Stakes – Belmont Jewel
The newest of the Triple Crown signature drinks. Created by mixologist Drew Revella in 2011 it's - as the other two - based on bourbon.
1 1/2 oz bourbon
2 oz lemonade
1 oz pomegranate juice
Shake vigorously with ice and serve in a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with a red cherry or a lemon twist.