Have you heard of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing? It’s basically the Superbowl of horse-racing that’s comprised of three races: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. Truth be told, I knew almost nothing of the event either (apart from this awesome scene in Pretty Woman, of course) except that the Kentucky Derby involves wearing big hats and sipping on mint juleps. But did you know the other two races boast their own signature race-day cocktails?
This year, Maker’s Mark whisky is celebrating derby season by partnering with some booze-loving bloggers (like myself, duh) to put a spin of one of the signature cocktails, The Belmont Jewel – the official drink of the Belmont Stakes in New York. The original recipe calls for a shake of bourbon, lemonade and pomegranate juice. For my contribution, I decided to make “The Tropical Jewel”, a girly concoction of Maker’s Mark bourbon, Aperol, pineapple juice and lemon juice. The drink is light, refreshing, not overly sweet, and evocative of a luxurious beach day thanks to the addition of pineapple. The best part? It requires zero fussy techniques and thus can be made by the pitcher if you’re planning to serve more than two.
- 1½ ounces Maker's Mark Whisky
- 1½ ounces pineapple juice
- ¾ ounce Aperol Aperitivo
- ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Maker's Mark cocktail cherry, to garnish
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine whisky, pineapple juice, Aperol and lemon juice. Shake vigorously until shaker becomes very cold and frosty. Pour into a tumbler filled with ice and top with a cocktail cherry.
I received a complementary bottle of Maker’s Mark Whisky for recipe development purposes; all opinions are my own.