This has to be one of the craziest sports weekends we’ve had in a long long time. And while the NFL draft kicked off last night without much drama (damn you Chip Kelly), Saturday is a jammed pack day of insanity: the fight of the century (Mayweather vs Pacquiao), Clips/Spurs Game 7, and my annual favorite, the Kentucky Derby are all set up perfectly for me to drink 42 cocktails and lose my voice while most of america is losing their money…
And while I’m not much of a gambler in life, I do love a little friendly wager on Derby Day. And my process is simple. I bet on the horse with the best name to scream (see previous bets on Daddy Long Legs and Vicar’s in Trouble) because if you can’t scream with enthusiasm, you don’t deserve to win. Unfortunately, I seem to always lose. Like really lose. But I’m not a quitter; I feel like this year is my year! But let’s just say I won’t be offended if you approach your selection differently,. Just promise me you’ll at least be enjoying a delicious drink in the process.
Speaking of drinks, I’ve been pushing my basil julep for the past few years and while I myself will be drinking this sucker again, I felt it was only fare to offer up a new option. This bourbon ginger punch is a bit like a dark and stormy but way more interesting if you ask me. The fresh lemon juice balances out the sweetness of the ginger beer perfectly, and the kick of bitters draws out the bourbon flavors exceptionally well. Hope you enjoy the cocktail, and hope you enjoy the weekend!
The Derby Punch
2.5 oz Bourbon of your choice (I choose Jeffersons)
1 oz fresh lemon juice
4.5 oz Ginger Beer
4 dashes of bitters (citrus bitters if you have it)
Mint and Fresh Peaches for Garnish
Combine the first three ingredients in a tall glass over ice and stir to combine. Add the bitters and stir one last time. Garnish with fresh mint and slices of peach for the perfect Derby cocktail.