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#DrinkNY: Saratoga Race Track’s 150th Year!

#NYSOM Happy Hour: We believe in celebrating, and have a tradition of ending each work week with a New York State-inspired cocktail. Here's our guide to mixing and sipping The Saratoga and The Cosmo on Union.

Cocktail #1: “The Saratoga”

In honor of Saratoga’s 150th season at the Race Track (which officially opens today), this week’s featured NYSOM cocktail is the Saratoga, a 19th-century favorite created during the peak of saloon and gambling days. Inspired by 9 Maple Avenue, Saratoga’s most iconic cocktail bar, the Saratoga is not unlike the popular Manhattan: it pairs rye whiskey with sweet vermouth and a few dashes of bitters. But brandy is the key player here that sets this cocktail apart from its fellow New York aperitifs.

We couldn’t think of a more appropriate cocktail for the weekend, or a pre-game to the Saratoga Wine and Food Festival in September!

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Brandy
  • 1 oz. Rye Whiskey
  • 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 lemon peel or slice to garnish

Directions:

Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and stir well. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a lemon twist or slice.

Cocktail #2: “Cosmo on Union”

Today also celebrates "Hats Off" in Saratoga, a festival that celebrates the opening of the Race Track, so how about another cocktail to celebrate the second unofficial holiday? Bob Lee of The Brook Tavern, a bar and restaurant in what was once an 1800’s horse carriage factory, recommends the Cosmo on Union. Whip up the cocktail yourself or, better yet, head over to Saratoga Springs and sip on one at the Brook Tavern itself — it’s the perfect place to celebrate “Hats Off!” and place your racing bets.

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Vodka
  • 1 oz. Lime Sorbetta
  • 1 splash cranberry juice
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • 1 lemon peel or slice to garnish
  • (We recommend LiV’s Vodka and Lime Sorbetta. LiV is Long Island’s first craft distillery. Visit their website to see where you can get your hands on these New York State spirits!)

Directions:

Shake ingredients together over ice. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with lemon.

Prefer your recipes in hard copy? We created printable versions of The Saratoga and Cosmo on Union.

Need new cocktail glasses? Don’t forget to serve these up in Tom Stoenner’s hand-blown tumblers, available on the NYSOM Marketplace.

With reporting by Audra Herman.

[History and photo of Saratoga Cocktail provided by 12 Bottle Bar.]