Racing may be the sport of kings but our bet is on the cocktails being the highlight of the day.
Through the centuries, the connection between racing and drinking has remained strong. In fact, the original one-day Oktoberfest—held in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of Bavarian King Ludwig I to his wife, Theresie, was centred on a horse race.
Of course, the race eventually faded from Octoberfest tradition as the event expanded into a two-week celebration of music, dancing, sausage and beer. Yet, the fact remains that one of the world’s great drinking festivals began with a horse race.
Around the world, internationally renowned racing events are celebrated with cocktails. The Kentucky Derby has its Mint Julep, the Preakness has the Black Eyed Susan ad the Belmont Stakes has the Belmont Jewel—a blend of Lemonade, Pomegranate Juice and Bourbon.
Now, while the Melbourne Cup doesn’t officially have a cocktail, unofficially drink for the day is the Flemington Fling, which utilises fresh mint and fresh lime juice, as well as Schweppes Agrum Blood Orange flavour & a splash of Vodka. The key to making the cocktail is in its aromas, so make sure that you crush the mint to release the aroma before adding it to the drink.
Even if you can’t get down to Melbourne for all the action, these official cocktails for the Carnival will definitely be able to give you some good ideas for your own Melbourne Cup celebration.
One of the most iconic drinks at Flemington, this refreshing mix of mint and freshly squeezed lime is muddled with vodka and Schweppes Agrum citrus blend. Adorned with a lime wedge and mint sprig, this zesty beverage will revitalise your race day.
The vibrant new strawberry Beefeater Pink gin is stirred together with lemon juice, sugar syrup and soda water in a highball glass. Finished with a dash of raspberry cordial and garnished with fresh strawberry, this flirty and fun drink will keep you refreshed all race day.
Silky Absolut Elyx vodka is shaken with pineapple and cranberry juice before being double strained over ice and topped with dry ginger ale. Served with a garnish of sliced peach and a lime wheel, it tastes like a trip to Palm Springs.
Kaffir Lime infused Vodka and crushed watermelon is shaken then strained over shaved ice with hints of lime and a watermelon wedge. Perfect for when things are running hot!
Absolut Raspberry is poured over ice and topped with lemonade and a raspberry cordial float. This sweet, crisp drink is garnished with fresh raspberries and is a sophisticated twist on the favourite vodka and raspberry mix.
Vanilla bean infused vodka is shaken with passionfruit purée and a good squeeze of lime. Twice strained for a silky smooth finish and crowned with a dehydrated lime wheel.
Havana Club light rum is shaken with Midori, coconut cream and pineapple juice over ice. Double strained for a smooth, creamy taste and garnished with a maraschino cherry and pineapple slice. You’ll feel like you’ve escaped to a tropical island.
This stylishly simple drink sees strawberry Beefeater Pink gin poured over slices of fresh strawberry and topped with bubbly tonic water. A deliciously crisp beverage to enjoy all race day.
A favourite amongst Melbourne coffee lovers, this combination of espresso with vodka and coffee liqueur creates the perfect balance of boozy, bitter and sweet. Be sure to sink your lips into the beautiful crema sitting on top the dark liquid beneath.