It’s no secret that a fair amount of alcohol consumption tends to happen at sporting events. Beer flows freely at NFL and MLB stadiums nationwide, and nearly every sports team has an official drinks brand. So given the popularity of sipping bubbles and beer in stadium seats, it’s no wonder that a number of spirits brands and event venues have put forth cocktails to complement the events.
While many may think that the “official drinks” category extends only to the Kentucky Derby’s Mint Julep and the U.S. Open’s Honey Deuce, many tournaments and competitions actually have their own official — or unofficial — drink. Read on to discover eight cocktails associated with sporting events worldwide.
The Masters: The Azalea Cocktail
Widely considered to be the world’s most prestigious golf tournament, the Masters takes place each April in Augusta, Ga. On the course, a blanket of blooming flowers decorates the grass surrounding the 13th hole and serves as the inspiration behind the tournament’s unofficial cocktail: the Azalea Cocktail. Consisting of vodka, lemon juice, pineapple juice, and grenadine, the Azalea takes on a bright pink color, similar to that of the blooms surrounding the green.
The Kentucky Derby: The Mint Julep
The Mint Julep has been practically synonymous with the Kentucky Derby since becoming the horse race’s official cocktail nearly 100 years ago. Traditionally made with Kentucky bourbon as its base, the Mint Julep combines the spirit with muddled mint and a splash of simple syrup for a lively summer sip. Classically distributed in a silver cup meant to mimic the winning trophy, the cocktail has been served at Churchill Downs since the 1930s and today, nearly 120,000 Mint Juleps are sold during Derby Weekend each May.
Kentucky Oaks: The Lily Cocktail
While the Kentucky Derby is obviously the mainstay at Churchill Downs the first weekend in May, many may not know that a separate horse race actually takes place the day before: the Kentucky Oaks. Held on the Friday before the Derby, the winner of the Kentucky Oaks race receives prize money and a garland of lilies, hence the event’s official drink: the Lily Cocktail. Created by the event’s official vodka sponsor, Grey Goose, the drink takes inspiration from the Cosmopolitan with its mixture of Grey Goose, orange liqueur, cranberry juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup. The color of the cocktail is meant to pay homage to the winner’s lily bouquet and honor the race’s association with breast cancer awareness.
Preakness Stakes: The Black-Eyed Susan
The Preakness Stakes, which takes place each year on the third Saturday in May at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course, serves as the second race in the Triple Crown series. Created in 1973 by Harry Stevens, a longtime caterer at Pimlico, the Black-Eyed Susan has served as the race’s official cocktail ever since and serves as an homage to Maryland’s state flower of the same name. Made with peach schnapps, bourbon, vodka, orange juice, and sour mix garnished with an orange slice and a cherry, the boozy cocktail certainly fits right in with Preakness’s reputation as the “party race” within the Triple Crown.
The Belmont Stakes: The Belmont Jewel
Since the first two races in the Triple Crown boast their own official cocktails, it’s only right that the Belmont Stakes, the final race in the series, receives its own drink as well. Created in 2015, the Belmont Jewel — named for the race’s status as the final jewel in the Crown — is made using Woodford Reserve, the official bourbon of Belmont Park. The cocktail combines the bourbon with lemonade and pomegranate juice and serves as an easy concoction to serve in large quantities, which is exactly what the drink’s creators had in mind.
The Indianapolis 500: The Pit Lane Lemonade
Allegedly created by Indiana bartender Curtis Parker of Mudsocks Bar & Grill in Noblesville, Ind., the Pit Lane Lemonade serves as an unofficial cocktail of the epochal Indy 500, held over Memorial Day each year. Made with Limoncello, Grey Goose, and lemonade, the Indy 500 is easy to make and easier to enjoy — just remember to never drink and drive.
Wimbledon: The Pimm’s Cup
Originally created sometime in 1800s England by James Pimm, the Pimm’s Cup consists of a combination of Pimm’s gin-based liqueur, lemon-lime soda or ginger ale, and cucumber, mint, and fresh fruit. The refreshing concoction has been served at Wimbledon since 1971 when the very first Pimm’s bar opened at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Each year, approximately 300,000 Pimm’s Cups are served up at the iconic British tournament.
The U.S. Open: The Honey Deuce
Debuted in 2007, the Honey Deuce comes to us from the tournament’s official spirits partner, Grey Goose The vodka cocktail was created by beverage professional Nick Mautone, who was approached by the brand to come up with a simple-to-make, refreshing cocktail that could easily be served courtside — and the Honey Deuce was born. The cocktail consists of Grey Goose, lemonade, and raspberry liqueur garnished with three honeydew melon balls that look just like tennis balls. It’s estimated that over 400,000 Honey Deuce cocktails are sold at the tournament each year.