Thursday, May 5, 2011

Derby Day Cocktails

To say that we love that legendary horse race held the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs is an understatement. The Kentucky Derby unites classic fashion style, 19th century cocktails, gambling, and  an age old sport of kings in a quintessentially American event. The fellows suited up in seersucker, ladies in elegant straw hats, bourbon mint juleps in icy tins, and 20:1 wagers on a horse named will be par for the course at the 137th running of the Derby. Naturally, the loungerati will be in full regalia, julep chalice in hand!
Whether you are partying at Churchill Downs, at the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, or at home we suggest you make these Bourbon cocktails part of your Derby watching experience:

Classic Mint Julep
adapted from Dale DeGroff

2 1/2 oz Old Forester bonded bourbon
3/4 oz simple syrup
2 springs of mint

Tools: Mixing glass, silver julep cup, jigger, bar spoon

Gently bruise 1 mint sprig using a muddler with syrup in a mixing glass. Add bourbon but do not mix. Strain into a frosted silver julep cup or highball glass over crushed ice. Then stir the mixture gently.  Top off with more crushed ice and garnish with remaining mint sprig. Insert sterling silver straw.

Kentucky Colonel
2 oz Eagle Rare Single Barrel Bourbon
3/4 oz Benedictine
Lemon twist

Tools: Old Fashioned glass, jigger, bar glass, bar spoon, swiss peeler

Combine alcohol in mixing glass, add ice, and stir for 20 seconds. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over ice. Garnish with lemon twist.

Seelbach Cocktail
1 oz Elijah Craig 12 years aged Bourbon
1/2 oz Cointreau
7 dashes of Angostura bitters
7 dashes of Peychauds bitters
5 oz of dry Champagne
Orange twist

Tools: Champagne flute, jigger, swiss peeler

Combine ingredients in a champagne flute and top with chilled Champagne, stir lightly and garnish with orange twist.

We will be catching the Kentucky Derby live at The Rum House (228 W47th Street)  at the Edison Hotel off of Times Square in New York City. Race begins at 6:04pm sharp!

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