A cocktail triple crown

MINT JULEP
Signature drink of the Kentucky Derby (May 2)

Ingredients:

3/4 oz. simple syrup or one teaspoon sugar4 mint leaves and a sprig of mint (Use tender, young sprigs.)2 1/2 ounces Maker's Mark Bourbon

Preparation:

Prepare some very cold, very dry powdered ice with large cubes of Kold Draft ice and a canvas ice bag. Bruise the mint leaves in the bottom of a julep cup with sugar or sugar syrup and then remove the muddled leaves. Add ice to the three quarter mark and half of the bourbon. Stir to chill the julep cup. Top off with more powdered ice and the remaining bourbon and continue to stir until the outside of the cup begins to freeze. Garnish with the mint sprig and set aside to rest while the julep cup freezes over on the outside. Pick up carefully and imbibe.

WHISKEY SMASH*
*Dale DeGroff original

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces Maker's Mark Bourbon1 ounce simple syrup3 lemon pieces (cut a lemon in half and then quarter one of the halves, use three of the quarters)5 mint leavesLemon wedge for garnish1 mint sprig for garnish

Preparation:

Muddle the lemon pieces, mint leaves and simple syrup in the bottom of a Boston shaker glass. Add the bourbon and shake well with ice. Strain into a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and a lemon wedge.

BELMONT BREEZE*
*Dale’s original signature drink of the Belmont Stakes (June 6)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces Maker's Mark Bourbon1/2 ounce Dry Sack Sherry1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice1/2 simple syrupSplash fresh orange juiceSplash cranberry juice5 mint leaves1 mint sprig 1 orange zest

Preparation:

Assemble the first six ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with orange peel and mint sprig.