Friday drinks: derby

Welcome to Friday! We have a bourbon cocktail for you this week, the derby. Plus, I have a little something extra for you at the bottom of the post.

The derby cocktail mixed by director Jeff Stewart. Photo by Kam Miller.

If you haven’t met music video and commercial director Jeff Stewart, please check out my post dedicated to our resident mixologist. He has been so gracious to share some amazing cocktail recipes over the past few weeks. Jeff has a knack for choosing drinks with surprising compositions that make them rise above the usual suspects. The derby is definitely one such standout.

Louisville, Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby horse race is often considered the “most exciting two minutes in sports.” Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The derby gets its name from, you guessed it, the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the US Triple Crown in horse racing. Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY attracts huge crowds that enjoy the festive Derby atmosphere. The mint julep is generally considered the traditional “Run for the Roses” drink; however, the derby offers a refreshing twist for revelers, who prefer something less sweet.

Like the mint julep, the derby takes full advantage of its roots using bourbon as its central ingredient but that’s the only thing they have in common. While the mint julep relies heavily on white sugar for its distinctive taste, the derby calls for lime and red vermouth, which gives it a dry, peppery appeal. Orange curacao adds another layer of flavor to this complex kick of a cocktail. As always, Jeff uses only fresh-squeezed lime juice.

Wanna try the derby? Here’s Jeff’s recipe.

1 oz. bourbon
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. orange curacao
1/2 oz. red vermouth

Shake vigorously in shaker over ice for 25-30 seconds, strain into a cocktail glass, garnish with a lime twist, and serve.

Keep your glass half-full. Drink responsibly.

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