Football season is finally here, y'all! Enjoy these bourbon and Coke slushies for tailgating!Read More
With Kentucky Derby Winner Nyquist and Derby second-place finisher Exaggerator ranking as many oddsmakers' favorites in this weekend's Preakness Stakes, horse racing fans' attention has turned to Maryland's Pimlico Park. Here's the HerKentucky Guide to the Preakness Stakes, which will tell you everything you need to know about this weekend's race festivities!
Black-Eyed Susan Day
The day before the Preakness, Pimlico celebrates Black-Eyed Susan Day with a G2 race for 3 year-old fillies. Known as the Pimlico Oaks until 1952 when it was renamed to honor the Maryland state flower, the Black Eyed Susan Stakes serves as the second leg of the filly Triple Crown. Like the Kentucky Oaks, the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes has a charitable focus, benefitting the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and Susan G. Komen® Maryland.
This weekend marks the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes. Race day will start off with the annual Alibi Breakfast for trainers, jockeys, owners, and media. The crowd will sing along with Maryland's state song, Maryland, My Maryland, and sip Black-Eyed Susan cocktails. The winning owner will be given a sterling silver replica of the Woodlawn vase (The original trophy, an 1893 creation by Tiffany & Co, remains on permanent display) and the winning horse will be draped in a blanket of Black-Eyed Susans.
While the focus on Kentucky Derby Day is high fashion, the Preakness is all about fun. I asked Bri Mott, the founder of raceday style website Fashion at the Races (and the most fashionable horse lover I know!) to describe the difference in Derby and Preakness style. Her tips? "Dressing for the Preakness Stakes is very different than the Southern Belle style of the Kentucky Derby. Preakness is known for its 'party' factor with all the crazy stories of the infield. You want to bring the party into your fashion. Bold colors and flashy prints. Less brimmed hats and more fun fascinators. It's all about the fun and you show that in your raceday style!"
Like the Derby's famous mint julep, the Preakness has its own signature cocktail, the Black-Eyed Susan. You can find the official recipe here, but I modified mine with homemade sour mix, Indian River Valencia orange juice, and Boteco Vodka. This is a sweet and sassy citrus-based cocktail that packs quite the punch!
Black-Eyed Susan Cocktail
- 1.5 oz vodka
- 1 oz Maker's Mark bourbon whisky
- 2 oz orange juice
- 2 oz sour mix (recipe below)
- orange slice and cherry for garnish
Combine all ingredients and serve over ice.
Homemade Sour mix
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup lemon juice, strained
- 0.5 cup lime juice, strained
Make simple syrup by bringing sugar and water to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and let cool. Add citrus juices. Shake and use immediately or refrigerate.
Happy Preakness weekend, y'all!
This post was brought to you by The Kentucky Derby Book.
Beat the chill with a Maker's Mark Hot Toddy!Read More
Happy National Maple Syrup Day! If there were ever a food item that deserves its own day, it’s this one! It takes 30-40 gallons of maple sap boiled down to create one gallon of that delicious maple syrup and it goes on everything! From pancakes, waffles, muffins, and grits to sweet potato fries and bacon, it is quite a versatile item to have in your arsenal. So in honor of this luscious syrup, I am shaking things up with my festive Maple Bourbon Sparkler.
I just love how the deep maple flavor compliments the vanilla and spice notes of the bourbon and the addition of champagne and a splash of lemon make this cocktail bright and drinkable. It's the perfect libation for all of your holiday parties!
Maple Bourbon Sparkler
· ½ Tablespoon of Pure Maple Syrup
· 2 Ounces of Maker’s Mark Bourbon
· Squeeze of a Lemon Wedge
· 3 Ounces of Brut or Extra Dry Champagne. **
1. Fill your favorite cocktail shaker with your maple syrup, bourbon and the squeeze of lemon. Shake until well combined and chilled.
2. Pour into champagne flute and top with champagne.
3. Enjoy and Repeat.
*I added a maple sugar rim for the photos. It was very sweet. I do not recommend it!
**Please use only Brut or Extra Dry Champagne/Sparkling Wine. It will be much too sweet with an Asti or Spumante.
Celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month with a Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail!Read More
A couple of weeks ago, on a rare date night with my husband (we have a two-year-old, after all), we were strolling around downtown Lexington all footloose and fancy free when I noticed a "new" mural on an old, familiar wall, only to be informed it has been there for a long time. Like I said, I don't get out much.
My eyes drifted around the corner, to the front of the building, and straight into Belle's Cocktail House. True to the hip and cool image we were portraying after we ditched the decidedly un-cool mini-van in a parking lot, we decided to go inside and check it out. I assumed the name had a connection to Lexington's infamous Belle Brezing, on whom the character Belle Watlingin "Gone with the Wind" was modeled. Much to my delight, the portrait of Belle Brezing hanging in the downstairs bar confirmed this connection.
Gatewood's Manhattan caught my eye. I loved Gatewood Galbraith and a Manhattan is my favorite drink. The perfect marriage. (Okay...I must confess I asked the bartender to drop most of the liquid smoke since I dislike smoke flavor. I felt guilty about it, but reassured myself that Gatewood would tell me to do whatever the heck I wanted.)
Although not on the menu, our bartender told us about Belle's own Josh Naylor's prize winning Berry Cobbler Mint Julep, People’s Choice Winner 2014 Four Roses Mint Julep Competition. He had me at "berry cobbler." If you're looking for a new julep recipe or find yourself in Belle's neighborhood, I highly recommend this delicious beauty. (It may not be on the menu, so be sure to ask for it.)
People’s Choice Winner 2014 Four Roses Mint Julep Competition
(Published by The Bourbon Review)
Recipe by Josh Naylor of Belle’s Cocktail House (Lexington, KY)
- 15-20 mint leaves (depending on size)
- 8-10 blueberries (depending on size)
- 1/4 lemon
- .75 oz blackberry simple syrup
- .25 oz vanilla cinnamon simple syrup
- 1.75 oz Four Roses Small Batch
- Crushed ice
- Plum bitters
- Mint sprig (for garnish)
- Lemon twist (for garnish)
Add mint leaves, blueberries and the juice of a 1/4 of a lemon into the bottom of a double rocks glass. Gently muddle just enough to break up the blueberries and release the oils of the mint. Add the blackberry syrup, vanilla cinnamon syrup and the bourbon directly into the glass. Fill halfway with crushed ice. With a bar spoon stir the contents in order to pull the muddled ingredients up away from the bottom of the glass. Fill the rest of the way with crushed ice mounding it as much as possible. Add 1-2 dashes of plum bitters on top of mounded ice. Garnish with a lemon twist and fresh sprig of mint.
Vanilla Cinnamon Simple Syrup
In a sauce pan add 16 oz. light brown sugar, 16 oz. distilled water, 1 whole vanilla bean split in half, 1 whole cinnamon stick and 1 whole allspice berry. Bring all ingredients to a boil making sure to stir constantly in order to help the sugar completely dissolve and not burn. Once a boil has been reached, reduce heat to a simmer. Let the liquid reduce by half (about 30 minutes) stirring occasionally. Let cool and strain into a resealable container or storm pourer ready for use.
Blackberry Simple Syrup
In a sauce pan add 16 oz. light brown sugar, 16 oz. distilled water, 8 oz. fresh blackberries and 1/4 tsp. of freshly grated nutmeg. Bring all ingredients to a boil making sure to stir constantly in order to help the sugar completely dissolve and not burn. Also use the spoon you are stirring with to help break up the berries and release their juice. Once a boil has been reached, reduce heat to a simmer. Let the liquid reduce by half (about 30 minutes) stirring occasionally. Let cool and strain (making sure to press the berries to get out all the liquid leaving nothing but the seeds and pulp in the strainer) into a resealable container or storm pourer ready for use.
The Bourbon Review is hosting its first annual Bourbon Review Derby Party, Derby At Belle's. $30 tickets include brunch with Wild Eggs, 3 drinks and giveaways for best Derby Hat and Dapper Dressed Guy. Proceeds go toward the Friends of the Lexington Mounted Police.
Like many, I set a goal to slim down and shape up after the first of the year. In pursuit of that goal, I joined Weight Watchers and have been working out more often. The other day, I went to track my delicious Maker's Mark Manhattan and about fell out of my chair when I learned that it was 10 points plus! That's over a third of one's daily points and puts my favorite cocktail in the special occasions only category.
Well, we all know that nobody puts baby in the corner so I set out to make a slimmed down version of my favorite cocktail. I consider it to be even better than the original as it really lets the flavor of the bourbon shine through and is now only 4 points plus! You might even be so inclined to have two!
- 1.5 Ounces of your favorite bourbon
- Splash of Sweet Vermouth (1/8 Tablespoon)
- Dash of Bitters
I serve it over ice and garnish with fresh berries for an extra treat.
The glass featured in this post is Kentucky's own J. Charles Monogrammed Crystal.
All WW points calculated by using the Weight Watchers recipe builder.