The Kentucky Derby has one. So does the Preakness. So why shouldn’t the late-19th-century horse race between Ten Broeck and Mollie McCarty — largely exaggerated in the musical account “Molly and Tenbrooks” — have its own official cocktail? Considering the race took place at what is now Churchill Downs, we riffed on the Derby’s signature drink, the mint julep, but gave it a refreshing twist with the addition of lime juice, bitters, and honey, while using Irish whiskey instead of bourbon. Blasphemy in Kentucky? Perhaps. But, if the song can take liberties with this race’s story, we can do so as well with the base spirit.
2 oz Irish whiskey
3/4 oz honey syrup (3:1 honey to water)
3/4 lime juice
Add ingredients to cocktail tin with ice and shake vigorously until the tin is very cold to the touch. Strain into coupe or stemmed cocktail glass (bits of mint will be in the cocktail — you can fine-strain out, but I prefer to keep them). Garnish with brandied cherry.