The Best Cocktails For Toasting The Races

Mint mojito

Champagne tends to rule at the races, but it can be fun to switch to spirits as you extend the celebrations beyond sunset. Order these classics for a tasteful toast:

Pimms Cup

This quintessentially English, long, cool and quaffable drink suits spring and summer best of all. Made from dry gin, liqueur, fresh fruits and spices, it’s also the drink of Wimbledon and tastes its Brit best when served with a slice of cucumber.

Bellini

This pretty pink Italian classic takes your bubbles up a notch to cocktail hour, blending Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine) with peach puree and a dash of raspberry or cherry juice, to create the signature delicate hue.

Negroni

One of the classiest classics ever to grace a bartop, this simple blend of gin, Campari, sweet vermouth and orange is a robust potion and should be approached with respect – but my, it tastes good. The ideal drink for those averse to overly sweet cocktails, it should be served over plenty of good quality ice so it remains perfectly chilled while you sip it slow.

Mojito

Long and refreshing but also packing a pleasant punch, this all-time favourite made from white rum, sugar syrup, mint, crushed ice and soda water is a renowned party starter. It should be served with a generous garnish of fresh, bruised mint leaves.

Bloody Mary

Sometimes you need a meal in a glass. Bring on the Bloody Mary – legendary hangover curative and savoury-seeker’s favourite. A good one can contain, along with the base spirit vodka, just about everything in your kitchen cupboard: tomato sauce, Worcester sauce, Tabasco, celery, lemon, black pepper, horseradish, paprika, anchovies – these days you’ll even find them garnished with sliders, mini bagels or beef jerky. Go for whatever lights your fire (and the Bloody Mary can indeed be a spicy devil) – but make sure the perishables are all super-fresh.

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