After you’ve sampled a mint julep for the Kentucky Derby and a black-eyed Susan for the Preakness, imbibe a Belmont Breeze for the Belmont Stakes on Saturday.
The last and longest leg of thoroughbred racing’s triple crown has had remarkable moments, whether with winners of the three races, or only the star of this one.
And there’s always the classic image of Secretariat — “Big Red,” on his own, a legend racing to the finish line and into immortality, 31 lengths ahead of the competition.
Celebrate Secretariat and this year’s winner with an apropos beverage. The cocktail of the Belmont Stakes once was a White Carnation, fueled by vodka and peach schnapps. The latest is the Belmont Jewel, a union of bourbon, lemonade, and pomegranate juice.
And there are two versions of the Belmont Breeze, from master mixologist Dale DeGroff, the original with bourbon and a second with rye.
Stick with the first.
1 1⁄2 ounces bourbon
1⁄2 ounce medium dry sherry
1⁄2 ounce lemon juice
1⁄2 ounce simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, heated, and dissolved in a pan, cooled and then chilled)
Splash of orange juice
Splash of cranberry juice
5 mint leaves
1. Shake the first seven ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
2. Garnish with the mint sprig and orange peel
And consider adding a nearly-split strawberry on the edge of the glass — just to remember Big Red.