Most people I know have a “summer drink” and a “winter drink.” My father saunters between light and dark rum, but, hey—he’s retired. Me? I pretty much stick to red wine. But when I’m in a certain situation, I take cues from the mood. If I’m out with my Texan buddy, Murph, I suddenly “feel like a margarita.” When I’m by the water, rum and coke. I only drink Bloody Marys on airplanes. But when it comes time for racing season, dust off the bourbon—we’re having mint juleps.
I love “classic cocktails.” They always set the scene. After all, it’s not a brunch without a mimosa. Or an apres-ski without an Irish coffee.
Plus, today isn’t just any Hump Day, it’s actually a pretty huge day here in Saratoga: opening day at the track! The last two years I’ve been here, I’ve left work to make Post Time, sipped a couple drinks in the shade, placed a few bets, and watched the first races run before sneaking back to my desk. [This also makes for interesting, dizzy afternoon meetings at the office. I do not recommend.]
To get in the spirit, here are some classic giant hat moments and an old recipe for Mint Juleps, off of an old postcard I found in my grandmother’s desk drawer. I keep it framed in my kitchen all year, just waiting for this day.
Happy summer… aaaand they’re off!