Derby Daze: Simple Cocktail Alternatives for Derby Watch Parties

I love a good Mint Julep.  Or two. And, I’m 100% sure I will have a Mint Julep this year while watching the Kentucky Derby. Hopefully, I’ll even be wearing a big brimmed hat (NOT a sombrero, people!) and looking cooler than cooler holding my frosty silver glass. But, having drink alternatives is always a good idea. So, if you want to step outside the box, but still stay in the spirit of the Derby, try one of these recipes, both of which use bourbon, but are very palatable even to those who eschew the dark spirits.

Bourbon Sour

Bourbon Sour

Bourbon Sour is version of the classic whiskey sour. Point of trivia ….. Thirsty Jane had a whiskey sour party to celebrate her 22nd birthday.  Really.  I don’t remember much of the party. Honestly. Only because it was so long long ago. WARNING: if you are reaching for that big bottle of sour mix, STOP! A “sour” is so simple that using a mix should be a crime. Here we go…

First, shake vigorously 1 egg white in a shaker. This is a “dry shake” and gets the egg white all frothy.
Second, add in ice, 2 ounces of bourbon, 1 ounce fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon sugar.
Third, shake again and strain into a cocktail glass.  The frothy top from the egg whites is impressive and the sugar and lemon cut the bourbon just right.  Makes me feel 22 again.

The Derby cocktail can be a number of different things. This one has the easiest ingredients to get your hands on and is not remotely as strong as a Julep or even a Bourbon Sour.

In a shaker with ice, combine 1 ounce bourbon, 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth, 1/2 ounce orange liqueur (I used Gran Marnier to feel fancy), 3/4 ounces fresh lime juice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Put your biggest fanciest hat on, pretend you own a race horse, and enjoy!


The Derby









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