Race day requires the preparation of a signature drink, but that is no easy task when it comes to the final leg of the Triple Crown. Unlike the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, the Belmont Stakes traditional drink is anything but traditional.
The Mint Julep has held the honor of traditional beverage of the Kentucky Derby for nearly a century, and the official drink of the Preakness Stakes is the Black Eyed Susan. However, it seems while the name of the drink has remained the same, the ingredients have changed from year to year, even changing from bourbon, to rum, to Scotch whiskey, and then to vodka. The one consistent ingredient: orange juice.
However, the Belmont Stakes official drink has not only changed ingredients, but names as well. The original drink, the White Carnation (named after the official flower of the Belmont) was made with vodka. Then in 1998, mixologist Dale DeGroff created a new concoction, the Belmont Breeze; but since it requires many ingredients and is time consuming to prepare, a third “official” drink recipe was created in 2012.
Maybe it’s time for a taste test to determine the best choice.
- 2 oz. vodka
- 1/2 oz peach schnapps
- 2 oz. orange juice
- soda water
- splash of cream
- Stir and pour over ice in a highball glass.
- Can garnish with an orange slice.
- 1 1/2 ounces bourbon whiskey
- 1/2 ounce Dry Sack Medium Dry Sherry
- 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- Splash of orange juice
- Splash of cranberry juice
- 5 mint leaves
- 1 mint sprig
- 1 orange zest
- Shake all ingredients with ice. (excluding mint sprig & orange zest)
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with fresh mint sprig and orange peel.
- 1.5 oz Kentucky Bourbon
- 2 oz lemonade
- 1 oz pomegranate juice
- Shake vigorously with ice and serve on the rocks.
- Garnish with maraschino cherry or lemon twist.
Of course, others have suggested serving Long Island Iced Tea, a traditional New York cocktail, completely ignoring any of the official drinks. That may be the best suggestion yet.
Which drink will you serve?