What To Drink Now: Derby Day

Last year, without rhyme, reason or any knowledge,  I placed a bet at Lone Star Park on Derby Day on a horse that I thought had a cute name….Super Saver….the 2010 Derby winner.  Needless to say Derby Day is now one of my favorite reasons to celebrate.  And, of course, traditional and not so traditional cocktails are on the menu.  Think about one of these if you are dawning your hat and mixing up some Saturday afternoon Bourbon focused Derby drinks.  There is a great site that has many Derby ideas called TheDailyMeal.com also, including menu tips.  Follow the jump for cocktail delights.

Bulleit Bourbon Mint Julep
15 oz.Bulleit Bourbon (25 oz. per bottle)
30 mint leaves
1 cup(s) sugar
1 cup(s) water
Wash mint leaves, pat dry and put them in a small mixing bowl. Cover with 3 ounces of Bulleit Bourbonand let soak for 15 minutes. Remove mint, then place them in a clean cotton cloth and wring over bowl, bruising the leaves. Dip back into bourbon and wring again. Repeat several times to create mint extract. Set extract aside for 1 hour. You can also put the leaves back in the extract for a more concentrated mint flavor. Combine mint extract (leaves included, if preferred) with simple syrup (1 cup sugar and 1 cup water) in a covered glass container or jar and refrigerate overnight. Fill julep cups (10-12 oz., preferably silver but glass will do) with crushed ice or shaved ice and insert a fresh mint sprig. Add 1 oz. of Bulleit Bourbon to each cup. Add marinated julep mixture to taste.  Makes 12 servings

Jockey’s Choice Manhattan
2 1/2 oz Maker’s Mark® bourbon whiskey
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura® bitters
Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Brighton Punch
1/4 oz Bourbon (your favorite)
3/4 oz Brandy
3/4 oz Benedictine
Juice of 1/2 Orange
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Club Soda
Shake with ice and pour into collins glass nearly filled with shaved ice. Then fill with club soda and stir gently. Decorate with orange and lemon slices and serve with a straw.

Thoroughbred Cooler
1 oz Bourbon
1 oz Sour Mix
1 oz Orange Juice
1 dash Grenadine
Lemon-lime Soda
Pour all ingredients over ice in highball glass. Fill with lemon-lime soda and stir. Add dash of grenadine, garnish with an orange wedge.

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