Kentucky Derby 2022 drinks: Recipes, ingredients for traditional Mint Juleps, bourbon cocktails

0 Comments

The state of Kentucky has a rich history in bourbon and distilleries, boasting the production of 95 percent of all the bourbon in the world. With over 11 million barrels of bourbon in the state (two barrels for every one Kentucky resident), it’s no wonder bourbon drinks and the Kentucky Derby go hand in hand.

The 2022 Kentucky Derby will air on Saturday, May 7 from 12 to 2:30 p.m. ET on USA Network and from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Coverage is also available to stream live on NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock.

Related: How to watch the 2022 Kentucky Derby

Get ready for the 148th Kentucky Derby with these traditional (and less traditional) bourbon cocktails, mocktails and more.

Mint Julep ingredients, recipe

The Mint Julep is a Kentucky Derby staple. In a regular year when Churchill Downs hosts spectators at 100 percent capacity, over 100,000 Mint Julep drinks are sold on Kentucky Oaks Friday and Kentucky Derby Saturday. This requires around 10,000 bottles of Mint Julep mix, 1,000 pounds of fresh mint and 60,000 pounds of ice.

To make your own Mint Julep at home, you can either purchase premade Mint Julep syrup and add ice and mint to garnish or you can make it entirely from scratch with the bourbon of your choice, simple syrup and mint, like the Kentucky Derby’s own recipe, which uses Old Forester (a product of Louisville, Ky. that is made less than 5 miles from Churchill Downs).

Serve it up in an official Kentucky Derby 148 glass—or the Unofficial Kentucky Derby Losers cup, which honors the 147 horses that have finished in last place.

Mint Julep variations

If you’re feeling posh and maybe a bit more adventurous, why not try replicating this year’s $1,000 Kentucky Derby Mint Julep, which is a nod to the connections between Kentucky and France (for example, both have towns named “Versailles,” but with completely different pronunciations).

The recipe, of course, contains mint and Kentucky bourbon, but also includes pomegranate, orange, lemon and a dash of honey from Versailles, France, if you happen to have some.

If you’re more into fruit, why not try a cherry-infused variation of the Mint Julep, a blackberry take on the cocktail, or a recipe that incorporates strawberry.

Mint Julep Mocktail 

Mint Juleps aren’t just for grown ups. Keep the bourbon out and make it a mocktail, like in celebrity chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s kiddie Mint Juleps.

For those with access to Ale-8, a craft soda similar to ginger ale that is sold almost exclusively in Kentucky, make your mocktail even more intensely Bluegrass with Ale-8’s very own mock Mint Julep recipe.

Related: Recipes for traditional Kentucky Derby foods

Oaks Lily

The Oaks Lily isn’t a bourbon drink, but it does have Derby roots. The cocktail, which featured vodka, sweet and sour and cranberry juice, is the official drink of the Kentucky Oaks, which is run the day before the Derby (Friday, May 6, 1-5 p.m. ET on Peacock and 5-6 p.m. ET on USA Network) for only the fiercest fillies in horse racing. The official Oaks Lily recipe suggests a stemless wine glass and blackberries and lemon to garnish.

Bourbon Slush

If you’re looking for something a little cooler, try bourbon slush, a frozen, boozy concoction that puts all other slushies to shame. Besides bourbon, you’ll get tastes of tea, lemonade and orange juice.

Old Fashion

Less adventurous bourbon fans can’t go wrong with a simple Old Fashioned, which is a combination of sugar, bitters and bourbon with orange for garnish.

Related: What to know about the 2022 Kentucky Derby

Keeneland Breeze

Journey an hour and a half southeast from Churchill Downs and experience the Keeneland Breeze, named for Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky. This light, citrus-infused drink features bourbon, triple sec and ginger ale. Revisit the Keeneland Breeze in the fall, as well, when the 2022 Breeders’ Cup heads back to Lexington on November 4 and 5.

Black-Eyed Susan

Start prepping for the second leg of the Triple Crown (Saturday, May 21 on NBC) with the Black-Eyed Susan, the official drink of the Preakness Stakes. The Black-Eyed Susan is a sweet and fruity cocktail, and while there are many takes on the drink floating around, Pimlico’s official recipe includes vodka, bourbon and orange juice.

Belmont Jewel

Finish out the Triple Crown with the Belmont Jewel, Belmont Park’s official drink of the final Triple Crown race (Saturday, June 11 on NBC). Less sweet than the Black-Eyed Susan but still citrusy for an early summer feel, the official Belmont Jewel recipe contains bourbon, lemonade, pomegranate juice and orange zest.

Watch the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 7 from 12 to 2:30 p.m. ET on USA Network and from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Full coverage is also available on NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock.

Irad Ortiz sets single-season record with 77th stakes win

Getty Images
0 Comments

NEW YORK – Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. earned his record 77th single-season North American stakes victory on Saturday when he guided Dr B to victory in the $200,000 Go for Wand at Aqueduct.

The 30-year-old native of Puerto Rico broke the old mark of 76 set by the late Hall of Fame rider Garrett Gomez in 2007.

“This is great. Amazing feeling,” said Ortiz, Jr., who won the Eclipse Award as outstanding jockey from 2018-20. “Gomez did it in 2007 and he was a great rider, one of the best in the game. I’m so happy just to be a part of this. I love this sport.”

Ortiz Jr. won the Belmont Stakes with Mo Donegal in June to go with Breeders’ Cup victories in the Juvenile, Filly & Mare Sprint and Sprint. He also earned nine other Grade 1 wins in New York, including Life Is Good in the Woodward and Whitney and Nest in the Alabama and Coaching Club Oaks. He won riding titles at Belmont’s spring-summer meet and Saratoga’s summer meet.

Ortiz Jr. leads North American riders with 304 overall victories this year. His purse earnings totaled over $35.8 million going into Saturday’s races, which already surpassed his single-season record of $34.1 million in 2019.

Appeals court strikes down federal horseracing rules act

hisa
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
1 Comment

NEW ORLEANS — Congress unconstitutionally gave too much power to a nonprofit authority it created in 2020 to develop and enforce horseracing rules, a federal appeals court in New Orleans ruled Friday.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, or HISA, is “facially unconstitutional.”

The authority created by the act was meant to bring uniform policies and enforcement to horseracing amid doping scandals and racetrack horse deaths. But the 5th Circuit – in two rulings issued Friday – ruled in favor of opponents of the act in lawsuits brought by horseracing associations and state officials in Texas, Louisiana and West Virginia.

The Federal Trade Commission has the ultimate authority to approve or reject HISA regulations, but it can’t modify them. And the authority can reject proposed modifications.

Three 5th Circuit judges agreed with opponents of the act – including the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and similar groups in multiple states – that the setup gave too much power to the nongovernmental authority and too little to the FTC.

“A cardinal constitutional principle is that federal power can be wielded only by the federal government. Private entities may do so only if they are subordinate to an agency,” Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan wrote for the panel that ruled in the Texas case.

The same panel, which also included judges Carolyn Dineen King and Kurt Engelhardt, cited the Texas ruling in a separate order in favor of horseracing interests and regulators challenging HISA in a different case.

The chair of the horseracing authority’s board of directors said it would ask for further court review. Friday’s ruling could be appealed to the full 5th Circuit court of the Supreme Court.

“If today’s ruling were to stand, it would not go into effect until January 10, 2023 at the earliest,” Charles Scheeler said in an email. “We are focused on continuing our critical work to protect the safety and integrity of Thoroughbred racing, including the launch of HISA’s Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program on January 1, 2023.”

The ruling was criticized by Marty Irby, executive director of the Animal Wellness Action organization. “Over the course of three Congresses, the most brilliant legal minds on Capitol Hill addressed the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act’s constitutionality and ultimately decided that the Federal Trade Commission’s limited oversight was sufficient,” Irby said in an email.

Among the subjects covered by the authority’s rules and enforcement were jockey safety (including a national concussion protocol), the riding crop and how often riders can use it during a race, racetrack accreditation, and the reporting of training and veterinary records.

Animal rights groups, who supported the law, pointed to scandals in the industry involving medication and the treatment of horses.

Duncan wrote that in declaring HISA unconstitutional, “we do not question Congress’s judgment about problems in the horseracing industry. That political call falls outside our lane.”

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, hailed the ruling on Twitter, calling HISA a “federal takeover of Louisiana horse racing.”