Cocktail Recipe: Toast "I'll Have Another" With A Belmont Breeze
The last time a horse won the Triple Crown was 1978, and the U.S. cocktail scene was in a sad state (a 7 and 7 was a fancy choice). With 2012 victories at the Kentucky Derby and now the Preakness, thoroughbred I’ll Have Another is on track to break the drought and win the crown this year. Happily, there is now an official, well-crafted drink with which to toast this appropriately named champion.
The Derby has the simple but classic Mint Julep and the Preakness has the more complex Black-Eyed Susan (depending on who you ask, a mix of vodka, bourbon, rum, lime, orange juice and pineapple). For years the default drink at the Belmont Stakes was the humdrum White Carnation, which sees vodka take the sweetness of peach schnapps and even it slightly with OJ before turning into a questionable quaff with the addition of cream.
Seeking an upgrade, organizers in 1998 called upon Dale DeGroff, former bartender at NYC’s Rainbow Room and drinks author credited with launching the current cocktail renaissance. The Essential Cocktail and The Craft of the Cocktail author concocted the Belmont Breeze, basing his recipe on the mantra of colonial-era punch: “one of sour, two of sweet, three of strong and two of neat.”
Check out the cocktail recipe for the Belmont Breeze below, adapted from kingcocktail.com, DeGroff's official website. The final leg of the triple crown takes place Saturday, June 9, so until the race is over, you have a built-in excuse to say, “Yes, I’ll have another.”
1½ oz. bourbon
½ oz. cream sherry
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup
Splash fresh orange juice
Splash cranberry juice
5 mint leaves
1 ming sprig
1 orange zest
1 strawberry (optional)
Assemble the first six ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with orange peel and mint sprig, and strawberry, if desired.