I can distinctly remember the sun was peeking out through the clouds. Mother Nature had promised a warm Saturday in May for us upstate New Yorkers. It was probably nearing 70 degrees, so I put on a tank top and my very fashionable denim overall shorts and walked into the living room to tell my momma I was ready to go to the party. She took one look at my shoulder, my left shoulder, and noticed bumps – tiny bumps I had not seen before. I had chicken pox and had to stay home, she told me. I cried. At 9 years old, I didn't even really know what the Kentucky Derby was, but I knew I wanted to be a part of the action.
Years later, one thing remains: I'm still up for any excuse to have a party. So I after chowing down on a little Chinese takeaway tonight, I spent the evening trolling the Web in search of drinks that I think will be perfect for accompanying tomorrow's race. (Hey, don't judge. It's been a long week.)
Though there's nothing wrong with going the traditional mint julep route, if you're like me and want to love but just can't stomach bourbon, why not bend the rules a bit?
Nothing says summer to me like a perfectly blended margarita. I just love how refreshing a margarita can taste on your tongue after enjoying a beautiful warm Saturday under the sun. Tomorrow's temperature is supposed to reach to the high 70s for us. I think this skinny margarita sounds like the perfect drink to enjoy on the deck after the race.
But if you're like my momma and hate tequila, you may be more inclined to reach for a gin- or vodka-based martini. Carolyn's Ginger Lemon Martini has me thinking I need to hit up the farmers' market after my Saturday morning run to find some some fresh ginger. Wouldn't you look picture-perfect in an oversized hat sipping this darling martini? I think so.
I can understand, though, if you had one too many lemon drops during undergrad and have a hard time looking at vodka. Perhaps you'd rather indulge in a minty mojito garnished with a fresh piece of watermelon. I know watermelons are already popping up in our local supermarket. If you gave into the temptation and bought yourself one of these babies already, this may just be the perfect way for you to kick off the season.
I'll be miles away from the real action again this year, but I'm not going to let that get to me. And since I've already had chicken pox, and passed them along to Little Big Brother, there's really nothing that's going to stop me from donning a hat tomorrow and cheering on those beautiful animals in Kentucky.