By Tim Grey
Racing fans know that during spring carnival, a carpark with friends is just as fun as being trackside in a marquee. It’s a long-standing tradition that members rock up to the Nursery, the Rails or the Domain and turn their car boot into a portable bistro and bar.
Instead of simply packing the champagne, why not mix some cocktails in the sun? Here are three drinks that are easy to make and perfect to drink outside.
The Mint Julep is unquestionably the cocktail most associated with the races. Mixed (and consumed) to celebrate Kentucky Derby since 1938, the barmen at Churchill Downs serve over 120,000 Juleps during the course of the races.
First, pour some Schweppes Soda Water into your glass, and stir in two teaspoons of superfine sugar. Press some fresh mint leaves against the side of the glass and add a swig of bourbon. Spoon in some crushed ice, gently stir, and garnish with more fresh mint. And, according to tradition, you’re obliged to drink it with a straw.
Schweppes Soda Water
The quintessential spring cocktail, The Pimm’s Cup is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Making it is simple: muddle lemon and cucumber in a glass and pour in a shot of Pimms No. 1.
Top it up with some Schweppes Lemonade (or, if you prefer something a little spicier, Schweppes Dry Ginger Ale), add some ice, and gently stir. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
Pimms No. 1
The Portable Alabazam is one of our favourites from the Cocktail Revolution, and Spring Racing is definitely the right time to break it out. It’s also portable cocktail, so it’s easy to make before you head to the races.
To make an Alabazam, take a jam-jar and pour in a good splash of brandy - its quality being entirely your decision, though we’d suggest you can’t go wrong with something that says “VSOP” on the bottle.
Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the jar - and, if you’re into that sharp, citric taste, squeeze in the other bit too.
Add a dash of orange curaçao. Then, screw on the lid and give your portable cocktail a good shake.
Once you’re in the carpark and ready to serve, fill the rest of the jar up to the top with Schweppes Lemon, Lime and Bitters, and if you’re really organised, some ice.
Schweppes Lemon Lime and Bitters