Horse racing has always been a prestigious sport, and what better way to celebrate the gathering of the elite than fine dining, premium food, and delicious drinks?
This is a sport where people spend more time thinking about what to wear than the actual race, and with that sophistication, it is obvious to see some premium cocktails served at each horse racing event.
There is nothing wrong with drinking beer on a race day, but if you want to look classy, choosing some of the signature cocktails is the right way to go.
Nonetheless: don’t worry! If get a bit tipsy, you can always use a horse racing calculator to calculate your bets.
Most of the popular horse racing events nowadays have long history and tradition, when it comes to food and drinks. They even went to the trouble of creating their own signature cocktails, that are now embedded in their tradition.
So, this inspired us to search for some of the best signature cocktails that are served at some of the most popular horse racing events.
Triple Crown Races Cocktails
Mint Julep – Kentucky Derby
We will start with one of the most popular races in the world, the Kentucky Derby, and the refreshing Mint Julep.
The recipe for this cocktail is quite simple. All you need is good-quality bourbon, simple syrup, mint leaves, and crushed ice. If you want to get fancy, you can serve it in a silver cup, but if you don’t have one any other will do the job just fine.
In 1938, it earned the prestigious title of the official beverage of the Kentucky Derby hosted at Churchill Downs. During an average year, a staggering 120,000 mint juleps find their eager patrons over the course of a weekend, necessitating the use of 1,000 pounds of mint and an impressive 60,000 pounds of ice.
Black-Eyed Susan – Preakness Stakes
Even though the Kentucky Derby isn’t the oldest race from the Triple Crown, it still inspired all other races to make their own cocktail.
This led to the birth of the Black-Eyed Susan in 1973, but it will still take time to achieve its iconic status.
One of the reasons is that the recipe for this cocktail was changed multiple times. The first version of the cocktail consisted of rum, vodka, and triple sec mixed with orange and pineapple juice, but more modern versions include bourbon and sour mix.
Belmont Jewel – Belmont Stakes
Now we move to the oldest race of the three, which actually has the youngest signature cocktail. The Belmont Jewel was introduced recently in 2011.
The Belmont Stakes have quite a vibrant history with their cocktails.
The first official cocktail of the event was actually the White Carnation, named after the flowers draped over the winning circle, which was later replaced by the Belmont Breeze in 1997. This cocktail lasted for 14 years after being replaced with the Belmont Jewel, which the organizers thought was more fan-friendly.
This cocktail is made by mixing bourbon, lemonade, and pomegranate juice, and served with ice.
Winner’s Circle Cooler Cocktail
Here we have a much more refreshing cocktail that is perfect for the summer days. Even though this isn’t an official cocktail of any professional horse race, it is commonly found all around the world.
This is often the most picked cocktail on events, maybe just because it is refreshing, or because of its name.
Who wouldn’t want to be in the winner’s circle, especially if you placed a bet?
This cocktail is made with Corona Light beer, Mint simple syrup, grapefruit juice, and of course bourbon.
Horse’s Neck Cocktail
With a rather unusual name, the Horse’s Neck Cocktail is another popular cocktail on most racetracks. It is delicious and refreshing, perfect for the summer races.
Still, wondering where the name comes from?
Well, the cocktail gets its name from the long lemon twists that hang over the edge of the glass which is usually a tall one resembling a horse’s neck.
This cocktail has a unique flavor due to its not-so-usual ingredients. The combination of ginger ale with a dash of Angostura Bitters creates a unique blend that will have your taste buds screaming for more.