Derby Day! 10 Classy Stay-at-Home Cocktails For This Year’s Kentucky Derby
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The pandemic put a pause on a lot of sporting events. One of the most high-profile events that needed to be rescheduled was The Kentucky Derby. The 146th Run for the Roses was supposed to take place on May 2. But, obviously, a stadium packed with people sipping Mint Juleps and wearing jaunty hats wasn’t such a great idea. That’s why the event was rescheduled for Sept. 5 with some changes.
The 62-page health and safety plan from Churchill Down has a lot of different stipulations, but it does allow for limited attendance. There will, however, be no general or infield admission. Pretty much, unless you’re willing to pay the equivalent of your mortgage, you’re probably not going to attend the race this year.
Since the odds are that you’ll be rooting on your favorite horse as it runs around an oval-shaped track from the privacy of your own home, you’re going to need to make a few cocktails. And, since this event takes place in Kentucky, they all better be bourbon-based. Check out 10 of our favorites below.
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We could drink whiskey sours any day of the year, but they’re perfectly suited for Derby viewing. Made with bourbon, simple syrup, lime juice, and a single egg white, it’s just as easy to make as it is to drink.
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We’re all acquainted with the Moscow Mule, but what about its Kentucky cousin? Instead of vodka this combination of lime juice and ginger beer is all tied together with bourbon.
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It might not be why it was given its name, but there is no better bourbon-based cocktail than an Old Fashioned. Made with bourbon, muddled sugar, Angostura bitters, it’s usually classily garnished with a maraschino cherry and an orange peel.
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This drink is the Negroni for whiskey fans. That’s because, instead of gin, the base is bourbon. Just like a Negroni, the other ingredients are Campari and sweet red vermouth.
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The bourbon smash is a highly adaptable drink. Based on your likes, you can rotate in different ingredients. For our version you need bourbon, muddled mint, muddled raspberries, and simple syrup.
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While the classic Sazerac is built with rye whiskey or cognac, we’re all about the bourbon here. That’s why we make ours with the corn-based whiskey, Peychaud’s bitters, a muddled sugar cube, and an absinthe rinse.
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The Manhattan is the classier version of the Old Fashioned. Almost the same recipe, the Manhattan swaps out the muddled sugar cube in favor of sweet vermouth.
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No Derby Day is complete without the official drink of the Bluegrass State: the Mint Julep. Made with bourbon, muddled mint, and simple syrup, it’s the sweet, refreshing way to celebrate horses running around a track.
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If you really want to get fancy on Derby Day, you’ll whip up a batch of Brown Derby cocktails. Made with bourbon, grapefruit juice, and honey syrup, it’s a perfect mix of sweet and sour.
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Bourbon on the Rocks
Our absolute favorite bourbon cocktail consists of a rocks glass with ice that’s full of bourbon. In our opinion, it’s the best way to literally just drink bourbon. We can’t get enough of this “cocktail.”
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