Celebrate New York’s “Kentucky Derby” with this week’s Friday Cocktail, the Belmont!
Held in Elmont, New York, the Belmont Stakes have been the premier thoroughbred race of New York State since 1867. Together with the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, it comprises the Triple Crown, a feat which sadly has not been won since 1978. In 2012, I’ll Have Another, came close but was scratched from the Belmont due to an injury. Perhaps a winner will emerge next year?
The Belmont is held in early June (never before June 5 or after June 11) and is a mile and a half course. It’s the oldest of the Triple Crown races, but it is the last one held. Though the official drink of the race is the Belmont Breeze—an overly complicated whiskey and sherry concoction supposedly dating back to colonial times—I prefer this simpler, smooth, and slightly fruity cocktail—which supposedly has nothing to do with the Belmont Stakes.
What you’ll need: Gin, Cream, and Raspberry Syrup
To make the raspberry syrup: take 2 cups of raspberries, 1/3 cup of sugar, and a cup of water and put them into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Once that happens, reduce the heat to a simmer for another 15 minutes or so—stir occasionally. Then strain the liquid into a container of choice, and discard the rest. This should yield about 1/2 cup of syrup. Or you could just use a substitute like chambord or grenadine.
In a shaker over cracked ice, pour in 1 1/2 ounce of gin, 1 ounce of cream, and 1/4 ounce of raspberry syrup. Shake and then strain into a cocktail glass of choice.
How I like it: Well now, why would you use raspberry syrup when there’s Chambord? Some recipes have suggested substituting Grenadine for the syrup. I suppose in a pinch that would do, but really, Chambord is the better choice. It’s also a lot less fuss than coming up with that raspberry syrup. I also added a 1/2 ounce of the Chambord instead of the meager 1/4 most recipes call for. So give this one a try when you head off to the races or watch them at home!
Don’t horse around, drink responsibly!