Posts Tagged ‘Festivals’

Triple Crown Finish

June 6, 2009

The final race of US Horse Racing’s Triple Crown in The Belmont and that race happens later today. There is a lot of tradition at the three Triple Crown races; each race has a flower – Rose, Black-Eye Susan and Carnation, the painting of the winning jockey’s colours and different cocktails; the Mint Julep, the Preakness Cocktail and for today the Belmont Breeze.  It seems like we have our own traditions too. Betting on the long shots in the races, making the race cocktails, and toasting my dad while watching the race with my mom on the phone.  I look forward to these races.

Facebook Friend and Poker buddy Matt is placing our bets on a combination of long shots so that if we win, we win big.  It’s fun to have a little money on the race and I have always been a fan of the underdog. Not sure exactly who we are betting on but will update the post closer to race time.

Belmont Breeze ingredientsAs for the official cocktail, it’s called at Belmont Breeze. To make it you need; 1 1/2 ounces Makers Mark Bourbon, 1/2 ounce Dry Sack Sherry, 1/2 oz fresh Lemon Juice, 1/2 Simple Syrup,  a splash of fresh orange juice, a splash of cranberry juice, 5 mint leaves, 1 mint sprig, and 1 orange zest. Donna and I made enough for four drinks.

Belmont Breeze

The three fruit juices mellow the taste of the Bourbon and give the Belmont Breeze a clean finish.  The Simple Syrup brings sweetness to the party but not over whelming.  The Mint and Orange aromas are pleasant.  We like the cocktail but prefer the Preakness Cocktail a little more. It is interesting to me that all three drinks are whiskey based given that the most popular alcoholic drink in the USA, after beer, is vodka but being Canadians we like our whiskey. This bourbon thing is getting close to Canadian Whiskey but that’s another blog.

So now we are prepared, I can call my mom, toast my Dad and watch the race.  Come on Long Shot.

Update:  WE WON $8.  Matt picked the right horse and couple of trifectas and we got our money back plus $8 each.  Yeah!  LOL.   Can wait until next year.

The Preakness

May 16, 2009

The second race in American horse racing’s Triple Crown is the Preakness.  Like the first race, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness is a chance for my mom and I listen to the race together and toast my dad. Just for fun I am making the Preakness Cocktail this year to toast my dad.  

Preakness Cocktail – Preakness Cocktail Ingredients

0.5 tsp Benedictine

1.0 dash Bitters

1.5 oz. Rye Whiskey

0.75 oz. Sweet Vermouth

1 Lemon Peel Twist

Preakness CocktailStir all ingredients (except lemon peel) with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Add the twist of lemon peel and serve.

I have heard of the Black Eyed Susan cocktail with rum, vodka, orange juice, triple sec, lime juice and pineapple juice but it was way to sweet for my liking. The Black Eyed Susan comes from the official flower of the Preakness like the rose is the flower of the Kentucky Derby.  Ironically the race occurs before peak season for the flower so they actually dye daisies get the black eye look.

To make the race even more interesting a bunch of my poker buddies are putting a little money on the ponies. Facebook Friend and poker buddy Matt is managing the “investment” and that a good thing cause he actually knows horses.  We are still going with the long shot strategy and hope that we can bundle the right group of horses to hit it big.  So if you read this before race, hope for the 1 and 7 horse to come first and second (any order) and we win big.  I’ll let you know how it went and how much we won with our $12 investment.

Come on 1 & 7.

Update: We lost.  LOL.  I hope we try again at the Belmont.  Come see in a few weeks.

What’s Your Favourite Food Holiday

May 4, 2009

Tomorrow is Cinqo de Mayo and I will be celebrating.  It’s a great a food holiday and great excuse to eat and drink Mexican food but there are other great food holidays.  Let us know which holiday is best, do the poll and let me know which is your favourite food holiday.

Derby Day

May 2, 2009

I love Derby Day.  In fact I love all three Saturdays of the Triple Crown.  Not that I know anything about horse racing or horses, it’s just that these races brought me closer to my Mom.  A few years after my Dad died, I found out that my Dad was a big horse racing fan and could actually pick out the winners.  Never knew that and only have one memory of going with him to the local harness racing track for the Atlantic National Exhibition.  I spent most of that day at the amusement rides next to the track so I never saw the excitement Dad had during the races.  So when I heard the stories, I suggested that my Mom and I watch the races together and toast my Dad. She was into it but the tricky part was she was in one part of Canada and I was 18 hours away, so we did it over the phone watching the same TV channel for the actual race. She would pick a horse and I would pick another. An for the most exciting two minutes in sports we would cheer our horses over the phone. It was good fun and even got to the point that I sent her Smarty Jones hats and T shorts for us to cheer Smarty Jones during it’s Triple Crown run.  We always remembered to toast my Dad too.  So later today, I will call my Mom, watch the race and toast my Dad.

But what will I toast my Dad with?  Since this race is the famous Kentucky Derby, the drink of choice is the Mint Julep. You knew some how I was going to work food and/or drink into this post didn’t you.  The classic Mint Julep is steeped in tradition but pretty simple to make.Mint Julep for Derby Day

Mint Julep

4 fresh mint sprigs
2 1/2 oz bourbon whiskey
1 tsp powdered sugar
2 tsp water

Muddle mint leaves, powdered sugar, and water in a Collins glass. Fill the glass with shaved or crushed ice and add bourbon. Top with more ice and garnish with a mint sprig. Serve with a straw.

Maker's Mark Kentucky BourbonSince it’s the Kentucky Derby, you should use a good bourbon. They are only made in Kentucky so it tightens the connection with actual race.  However any whiskey could be used in a pinch but if you substitute rum, you are into the Mojito territory and that would be a different posting for sure.  Anyway have a beverage and enjoy the race.  I know I will.Derby Day Mint Juleps

One of the ways the race will be special today is that we have “green” riding along with riders.  Poker buddy and Facebook friend Matt has arranged a betting pool for today’s race.  A bunch of us have thrown in $12 each for Matt to bet with.  The overall strategy is to bet on long shots so that if they ever hit the group wins big.  The weather reports that the track in Louisville is going to be a bit muddy so that takes away the advantage for the favourites – that’s good for us.  I just checked in with Matt on Facebook and he let let us know “well right now we can have 8 longshot horses in an exacta box for $56 dollars. That leaves us with around $76 dollars for trifectas.”  Not sure exactly what that means but I am hoping I have a couple of horse to cheer on later today.  Wish me luck.

Tell us your traditions by clicking on the comments link below this post.