Race-Day Cocktails

The Blush Lily
Photo: Photo: Hector Sanchez

These signature drinks score a trifecta with us.

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The SL Mint Julep and The Blush Lily

The Blush Lily
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: The SL Mint Julep

Recipe: The Blush Lily

On race day, Churchill Downs serves up 120,000 mint juleps and 40,000 of the lesser-known Oaks Lily cocktails. Sterling julep cups are classic, but these cocktails are so pretty—why not show them off in highball glasses?

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Derby Julep

Derby Julep
Photo: Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Derby Julep

Its namesake may be the fastest two minutes in sports, but that doesn't mean this cocktail should be short-lived. Consider our derby julep a cocktail hour mainstay all year long.

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Mint Julep Sweet Tea

Mint Julep Sweet Tea
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Mint Julep Sweet Tea

This iced cocktail features the best of two classic Southern drinks: the mint julep and sweet tea. For best results, sip in a rocking chair on a front porch somewhere.

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Triple Crown Cocktails

Race-Day Drinks
Beth Dreiling Hontzas / Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey / Food Styling: Marian Cooper Cairns

The Derby isn't the only leg of the Triple Crown with a signature drink. Watch the horses run with a cocktail tailored for each event. You'll have an instant party as synonymous with Derby Day as distinctive hats.

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Classic Mint Julep

Classic Mint Julep

Recipe: Classic Mint Julep

Mint juleps are the quintessential Southern cocktail. All you need for this classic version is fresh mint, mint simple syrup, and bourbon. Leftover simple syrup keeps refrigerated about one week and perfectly sweetens iced tea. See our tips and techniques for stirring up a mint julep.

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Moonshine-Cherry Blush

Moonshine-Cherry Blush
Photo: Brown Cannon III

Recipe: Moonshine-Cherry Blush

Base Recipe: Basil-Lemon Moonshine

Basil-Lemon Moonshine is great by itself on the rocks, but our Moonshine-Cherry Blush recipe will certainly be difficult to pass up.

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Bourbon Smash

Bourbon Smash Recipe
Laurey W. Glenn / Food Styling: Norman King

Recipe: Bourbon Smash

Add flair to your cocktail party with the Bourbon Smash: crushed ice and bourbon combined with the sweetness of raspberries and the fresh flavor of mint.

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Black-eyed Susan Cocktails for Preakness

Black-eyed Susan Cocktails Recipe for Preakness
Laurey W. Glenn / Food Styling: Norman King

Recipe: Black-eyed Susan Cocktail

This cocktail's name is taken from the flowers used to make the blanket that drapes the winning horse at the Preakness in Baltimore, Maryland. Made with orange and pineapple juice, vodka, light rum, and orange liqueur, it's a Plimlico winner in our book too.

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Bourbon Cider Sour

Bourbon Cider Sour Recipe
Laurey W. Glenn / Food Styling: Norman King

Recipe: Bourbon Cider Sour

Looking for something impressive yet easy to mix up for your party? Simply stir together four ingredients: bourbon, apple cider, orange juice and sugar, then serve over ice. Garnish with thin apple slices for an elegant finish.

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Reach for Long Island Iced Tea at Belmont Stakes

Long Island Iced Tea Recipe for Belmont Stakes
Laurey W. Glenn / Food Styling: Norman King

Recipe: Long Island Iced Tea

At the Belmont Stakes it's Long Island Iced Tea. Serve this stiff drink in a martini glass to encourage sipping and get in the New York racing mood.

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Slushy Whiskey Sours

Slushy Whiskey Sours Recipe
Laurey W. Glenn / Food Styling: Norman King

Recipe: Slushy Whiskey Sours

Try a refreshing spin on a classic mixed drink featuring frozen orange juice, limeade and lemonade.

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How to Muddle

How to Muddle to Make Cocktails
Laurey W. Glenn / Food Styling: Norman King

You'll need to know how to "muddle," which means to crush or mash ingredients with a spoon to release flavor. A bar tool called a "muddler" can be used (its shape reminds us of a mini baseball bat) or use a wooden spoon.

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