Celebrate the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes by whipping up one of these  cocktails created by some of the most innovative mixologists in the area. Even if you don’t win any  Triple Crown wagers, it’s a sure bet your bar will please thirsty horse racing fans.

Michelle Mauro, Director of Operations and Mixologist of South End Restaurant and Uncorked, New Canaan, CT

Greatest Two Minutes

2 ounces Four Roses Bourbon
1 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce simple syrup
cucumber, thinly sliced
grapefruit wedge
lime and mint

Muddle cucumber (4 slices), mint (5 leaves) and grapefruit. Add ice and bourbon. Shake and double strain into julep cup; top with fresh crushed ice. Garnish with mint and lime.

The name comes from that fact that “the Derby race is known for being the ‘greatest two minutes.’” — Michelle Mauro, Director of Operations and Mixologist of South End Restaurant and Uncorked, New Canaan, CT

 

The BIG manHATtan

The BIG  manHATtan

½ ounce sweet vermouth
½ ounce dry vermouth
¾ ounce mint and honey simple syrup
2 ounces Woodford Reserve bourbon
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine all of the ingredients and stir with ice.  Serve up with Luxardo cherries and fresh mint leaf.

“An ode to the classic oversized hats that ladies wear for the Kentucky Derby. This cocktail is a cross between the classic mint julep and a Manhattan.” — James Mahoney, Beverage Manager, Cask Republic, Stamford and South Norwalk, CT

RaceDayDrink-DecadentandDepraved

Decadent & Depraved

2 ounces Woodford Reserve Bourbon
1/2 ounce simple syrup
mint and shiso leaves
pinch of togarashi (an Asian spice blend)

Add 3 mint leaves, 2 shiso leaves, simple syrup and a large pinch of Togarashi. Muddle gently. Fill cup ¾ of the way with crushed ice and add bourbon. Stir or swizzle to combine ingredients. Top with more crushed ice. Garnish with more mint and shiso leaves and togarashi.

“Decadent & Depraved” refers to the Hunter S. Thompson story of his experience at the Derby.” — Craig Ventrice, Bar and Beverage Manager, Kawa Ni and The Whelk, Westport CT

 

Alejandro Torres, bartender at JHouse, Greenwich, CT

JHouse  Lemonade

2 ounces vodka
1 ounce creme de violette
2 ounces lemonade
5 blueberries
lemon peel
mint leaf

Combine liquid ingredients with ice and shake. Pour into highball glass with ice. Garnish with 5 blueberries, lemon peel and mint leaf.

“This refreshing drink is a variation on a summer favorite made by mixing quality spirits with fresh lemonade,” — Alejandro Torres, bartender at JHouse, Greenwich, CT

Save the dates:

Kentucky Derby, May 6-7
Preakness, May 21
Belmont Stakes, June 9-11

Photographs by: Craig Ventrice(Decadent & Depraved_; Thomas McGovern (JHouse Lemonade)