Since Derby Day traditionally happens in the beginning of May, I always associate it with the beginning of summer. Is it because the horse race is affectionately referred to as “the most exciting two minutes in sports?” No, it’s because I love so many of the traditions that come with it. I love that the winner is presented with a “blanket” of 554 roses. I love fiddling with a version of “burgoo,” a beef and pork stew traditionally served on this day. Burgoo is one of those recipes that can be left open to interpretation. It is traditionally made with whatever meats (beef or pork) and vegetables (lima beans, corn or okra) are available. My best results came from braising some cubed-up brisket and stirring in some corn, fava beans and peas to give it that touch of spring. With all this cooking, a cooling drink seems only fitting. The mint julep happens to be one of my favorites. It reminds me of a snow cone, the fruity, icy cone I used to get from ice cream trucks as a kid. This provides a fun drink for kids instead of a more traditional Shirley Temple.
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Plan on each guest drinking three drinks, and be sure to provide both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverage choices. To spike this family-friendly cocktail, substitute champagne for the sparkling water.
Get the recipe: Non-Alcoholic Pomegranate Bellinis
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Put a chill into your grilling and chilling weekend this Memorial Day by mixing up a few simple and refreshing summer drinks. Our diverse ideas below will please the kids – and kids at heart – while offering some grown-ups-only favorites and unique twists on classic cocktails. Whether you’re simply barbecuing in the backyard with your family or hosting a neighborhood holiday cookout, these cool recipes are sure to quench everyone’s thirst.
Nothing says summer like a refreshing frozen marg and Bobby Flay feels the same way. His Frozen Pomegranate, Mango, Tangerine, Watermelon and Cactus Pear varieties boast cool flavors and the famed frosty consistency.
A traditional Spanish and Portuguese cocktail, sangria is most often made by mixing red or white wine with fresh fruit, sparkling soda water and various liqueurs. Food Network Magazine’s Red and White Sangria recipes are classic examples of this European summer sipper.
Like sangria, the mojito has evolved from its original Cuban mixture of white rum and mint into a transformable cocktail capable of pleasing everyone. Not a rum fan? Not a problem. Guy Fieri’s Double Apple Mojito is made with vodka and apple juice. Similarly, Tyler Florence’s Blueberry Ginger Mojito Pitchers combine vodka, soda and fresh ginger.
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