Dale DeGroff created the Belmont Breeze in 1998 to act as the official drink of the Belmont Stakes. It replaced the White Carnation and has since been replaced by the Belmont Jewel. In no way does that take away from the greatness of this drink, either.
The Belmont Breeze is a fun and lightly fruity cocktail with a bourbon and sherry base. It's easy to mix up and is a cocktail that you can enjoy beyond a day of watching the horses.
- In a cocktail shaker, shake all the ingredients with ice.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a fresh mint sprig and orange peel.
(Recipe Courtesy: Dale DeGroff)
Recently, DeGroff updated the Belmont Breeze recipe and it is just as tasty as the original. The Belmont Breeze No. 2 features rye whiskey, Pedro Ximenez Sherry, and DeGroff's own Pimento bitters. It also skips the cranberry and syrup and opts for more orange juice.
More Tips for Making a Belmont Breeze
The Whiskey. Bourbon or rye whiskey, which should you choose? Really, either is a great option. This is especially true now that rye has made a comeback and we're able to easily find some great brands again. Go with whatever you have in the bar or us this cocktail as an excuse to try something new.
The Sherry. Sherry is a Spanish style of fortified wine and it's a fantastic addition to this drink. It's interesting to note that in the new recipe, DeGroff switches from a medium dry sherry to Pedro Ximenez, which is one of the sweetest.
Either would make a good choice in this recipe. Amontillado or Oloroso are the richer varieties suited for this Belmont Breeze recipe. Fino will be the driest sherry you'll find.
The Fruit Juices. Pay attention while pouring each of the three fruit juices, particularly the orange and cranberry. This is not meant to be one of those tall, super-fruity cocktails like the Madras or Sea Breeze. Instead, they're mere accents that should not mask the whiskey and sherry.
The Mint. The same can be said about the amount of mint for the Belmont Breeze. Where many mint cocktails like the Mojito or Mint Julep typically say a "sprig" of mint, DeGroff is very specific. By using just four or five mint leaves, the drink retains a nice balance. Remember, it's not necessarily a "mint cocktail," it's a "cocktail with mint."
How Strong Is the Belmont Breeze?
Perfect for a day at the race track, the Belmont Breeze is a rather gentle cocktail.
When made with an 80-proof whiskey, it has an alcohol content around 16 percent ABV (32 proof).