In horse racing, a “breeze” is where a racehorse is asked to show some speed and run at a fast gallop, but not to push himself too hard. It’s a good indicator of speed and fitness in a horse. At Belmont Park in New York, it’s still a racing term (of course) and it is also a drink. The Belmont Breeze is the official drink of the mile-and-a-half Belmont Stakes.
The drink was created by Dale DeGroff at the race track’s Paddock Lounge a few years ago and it’s been quite popular ever since. It isn’t as famous as the Kentucky Derby’s mint julep – largely because the mint julep is served frequently off the race course and not just on it – but it’s certainly not bad. The drink has a fairly strong whiskey taste with some fruity undertones. The hint of pink color that mine got from the cranberry juice was lost after shaking the drink and pouring it over ice, so I might play around with the proportions if I end up making this again.
For now, it’s a good drink to have in hand to watch the race and root for Big Brown, who will hopefully take home the next Triple Crown.
The Belmont Breeze
1 1/2-oz whiskey (Jack Daniel’s)
3/4-oz Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry
3/4-oz fresh lemon juice
1/2-oz simple syrup
1 1/2-oz orange juice
1 1/2-oz cranberry juice
Combine all ingredients, except club soda, in a shaker full of ice.
Shake vigorously, then strain into a tall glass with more ice.
Top glass off with club soda (or use 7-up/lemonade for something a bit sweeter) and garnish with a lemon wedge and sprig of mint.
Makes 1 drink.