What are the drinks of the Triple Crown races?

Answered by Ian Ramirez

The Triple Crown races, consisting of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes, are not only prestigious horse racing events but also a celebration of tradition and elegance. Over the years, specific have become associated with each race, adding to the excitement and allure of these events.

1. Kentucky Derby and the :
The Kentucky Derby, often referred to as the “most exciting two minutes in sports,” is held annually on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. This iconic race is synonymous with the classic cocktail, the Mint Julep.

The Mint Julep is a refreshing and aromatic drink that has been the official of the Kentucky Derby since 1938. It is traditionally served in a silver or pewter cup filled with crushed ice, , simple syrup, and fresh mint leaves. The combination of the cool, minty flavors with the smoothness of bourbon creates a truly delightful and quintessentially Southern drink.

I remember attending the Kentucky Derby a few years ago, and the atmosphere was electric. As the horses thundered down the track, spectators sipped on their Mint Juleps, enjoying the perfect blend of flavors that complemented the excitement of the race.

2. Preakness and the Black-Eyed Susan:
The Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown, is held two weeks after the Kentucky Derby at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. This race is known for its vibrant and festive atmosphere, and it is celebrated with the signature cocktail, the Black-Eyed Susan.

The Black-Eyed Susan is a fruity and tropical drink that captures the spirit of the Preakness. It is made with , , orange , pineapple juice, lime juice, and a splash of grenadine. The vibrant yellow color of the cocktail resembles the black-eyed susan flower, which is the state flower of Maryland.

I had the pleasure of attending the Preakness Stakes last year, and the Black-Eyed Susans were flowing throughout the day. The drink's fruity and refreshing taste was the perfect accompaniment to the lively atmosphere and the thrilling horse races.

3. Belmont Stakes and the White Carnation:
The Belmont Stakes, held three weeks after the Preakness, is the final leg of the Triple Crown and takes place at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. This race is known for its rich history and the challenge it presents to horses and jockeys. To commemorate this prestigious event, the signature drink is the White Carnation.

The White Carnation is a creamy and elegant cocktail that embodies the sophistication and glamour of the Belmont Stakes. It is made with vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice, cream, and a splash of grenadine. The creamy texture and the touch of sweetness from the peach schnapps make it a luxurious and indulgent beverage.

I have been fortunate enough to attend the Belmont Stakes on multiple occasions, and the White Carnation has always been a highlight of the event. Sipping on this velvety cocktail while watching the horses race towards the finish line creates a sense of elegance and anticipation.

The Triple Crown races are not only about horse racing but also about the celebration of tradition and the enjoyment of exquisite cocktails. The Mint Julep, the Black-Eyed Susan, and the White Carnation, associated with the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes respectively, add a touch of sophistication and flavor to these prestigious events. So, whether you find yourself at Churchill Downs, Pimlico Race Course, or Belmont Park, make sure to indulge in these iconic drinks and immerse yourself in the excitement of the Triple Crown races.