After a long and wet week, we are all looking forward to what should be a dry and warm weekend!  A weekend that you can fill with different drinks to match the themes of the weekend.

First up is Saturday.  The 145th running of the Kentucky Derby.  Bust out the big fancy hats.  Maybe place a wager if you are feeling lucky.  And stir up some Mint Juleps!

The traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby and a southern summer favorite, the mint julep has many different variations.  Like the one you can buy at the Kentucky Derby for $1,000.  For real.  What the what.  But if you are looking to keep it traditional here is what is recommended.

  1. 2 ounces Bourbon Whiskey  (I recommend something local like Cody Road)
  2. 1 ounce mint simple syrup
  3. Sprig of fresh mint
  4. Crushed ice

Pour Bourbon and simple syrup over crushed ice.  Stir with spoon.  Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.  Serve in a tall old-fashioned glass and enjoy.

There is a one variation that I suggest.  Muddle or crush  the mint.  Traditional you just put the sprig of mint in but with a crush in preparation it will release the mint flavor more into the drinks.

Next up is Sunday, May 5th.  Otherwise known as the day we all drink Margaritas!

Cinco De Mayo a celebration of the Mexican victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862.  In Mexico it is a holiday with small parades, meals and ceremonies.  In America we eat tacos and drink tequila!

If you don't like straight tequila then you aren't drinking good tequila.  If you still don't like it straight let's make margaritas!

Unlike the mint julep, there are so many ways to make good margaritas.  The key is don't go cheap.  If you are getting a mix (please don't! but if you must) spend the extra money on good mix.  Do not get bottom shelf tequila.  You don't need top shelf for margaritas but you have to have something on the better end of the scale.

If you want to get crazy, here are a couple variations that I'm a big fan of.

Hot To Trot

  • 2 oz Casamigos Blanco Tequila
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • .75 oz agave nectar
  • 3 slices cucumber
  • 1-2 slices jalapeño

Muddle cucumber and jalapeno. Combine all ingredients over rocks and stir. Garnish with additional cucumber and jalapeño.  – Courtesy PHD Terrace at Dream Midtown in New York City

Big fan of this one but you need to be careful with any jalapeno margarita they don't overwhelm the drink with it's spiciness.

Blood Orange Margarita

  • 1.5 oz Silver Tequila
  • .5 oz Cointreau
  • .5 blood orange juice
  • .75 oz simple syrup
  • 1 oz lime juice

Fill a mixing tin with ice. Add all ingredients and shake vigorously. Empty shaker contents into a rocks glass with a salted rim. Garnish with a blood orange slice.– Courtesy Scott Allen of Copper Lounge at the Intercontinental Los Angeles

A perfectly refreshing drink for a patio.  I like Don Julio Silver with this one.

So there you go.  A weekend of drinks all themed to American and Mexican traditions!  Cheers and salud!

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