A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“My goal this weekend is to move just enough so people don’t think I’m dead” (3/25)
“In what aisle could I find the Polish sausage?” (Polish joke) (3/24)
“I hate people who bang on your door and tell you to be ‘saved’ or you’ll ‘burn.’ Stupid firemen” (3/24)
“Congress is good at only two things—doing nothing and overreacting” (3/24)
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Entry from June 07, 2008
Belmont Breeze (former official drink of the Belmont Stakes)

The Belmont Breeze was the official drink of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of racing’s triple crown that takes place each June in Belmont Park. The drink—Belmont’s equivalent to the Kentucky Derby’s famous mint julep—was created in 1997 by mixologist Dale DeGroff. Ingredients include bourbon, sherry, simple syrup, lime juice, orange juice, cranberry juice, 7-Up, and club soda or seltzer.

A drink called “Big Apple” was briefly the official drink in 1976. The “White Carnation” (vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice, soda, and a splash of cream) had been the official drink of the Belmont Stakes from the 1980s until 1997’s Belmont Breeze. The Belmont Breeze was itself replaced as the official drink in 2011 by the “Belmont Jewel” (bourbon, lemonade and pomegranate juice).

A little-known cocktail called the “Belmont Park” (Bacardi rum, port, one egg and a teaspoonful of powdered sugar) apparently existed in the 1920s and might have been the first cocktail of the Belmont racetrack (although not necessarily of the Belmont Stakes race).


Wikipedia: Belmont Stakes
The Belmont Stakes is an American Grade I stakes Thoroughbred horse race held every June at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. It is a 1.5-mile-long (2.4 km) horse race, open to three-year-old Thoroughbreds. Colts and geldings carry a weight of 126 pounds (57 kg); fillies carry 121 pounds (55 kg). The race, nicknamed The Test of the Champion, is the third and final leg of the Triple Crown and is held five weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes, on a Saturday between June 5 and June 11. The 1973 Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown winner Secretariat holds the mile and a half stakes record (which is also a track and world record on dirt) of 2:24.
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Along with the change of song in 1997, the official drink was also changed, from the “White Carnation” to the “Belmont Breeze.” The New York Times reviewed both cocktails unfavorably, calling the Belmont Breeze “a significant improvement over the nigh undrinkable White Carnation” despite the fact that it “tastes like a refined trashcan punch.” In 2011, the Belmont Breeze was again changed to the current official drink known as the “Belmont Jewel.”

BELMONT BREEZE
original drink by Dale DeGroff
1½ oz. Jack Daniel’s or Seagram’s 7
¾ oz. Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry
½ oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz. Simple Syrup
1 ½ oz. Fresh Orange juice
1 ½ oz. Cranberry juice
Shake all ingredients with ice and top with half 7UP and half soda, approximately one ounce of each. Garnish with fresh strawberry and a mint sprig and a lemon piece.

KingCocktail.com
The Belmont Breeze*
The Official Drink of the Belmont Race
*Original Recipe by Dale DeGroff

1.5 oz. Gentleman Jack (Jack Daniels)
.75 oz. Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry
.75 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
.75 oz. Simple Syrup
1.5 oz. Fresh Orange juice
1.5 oz. Cranberry juice

Shake ingredients with ice and top with half 7up and half soda, approx. one ounce of each. Garnish with fresh strawberry, mint sprig and a lemon wedge. 

Belmont Stakes
Belmont Breeze - Official Drink

Toast of the Champion
The Belmont Breeze is the official drink of the Belmont Stakes. Created by New York’s premiere beverage authority Dale DeGroff, the profile of the Belmont Breeze comes from the colonial recipe: one of sour, two of sweet, three of strong and four of weak.

The ingredients are:

1 1/2 ounces of a good American blended whiskey
3/4 ounces Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry
1/2 ounce of fresh lemon juice
1 ounce of simple syrup
(1 ounce of sweet and sour mix may be substituted for the lemon juice and simple syrup)
1 1/2 ounces fresh orange juice
1 1/2 ounces cranberry juice
1 ounce 7-Up
1 ounce Club Soda

Shake first six ingredients with ice, then top with 7-Up and club soda. Garnish with mint sprig and lemon wedge.

New York (NY) Times
F.Y.I. 
By ED BOLAND JR.
Published: May 25, 2003
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The Belmont was run at Jerome Park until 1888, when the city claimed the property for a reservoir. The race was moved to a track called Morris Park in the Pelham Parkway section of the Bronx, and was run by the Westchester Racing Association. But eventually, the association wanted a new track, and with names like Whitney, Morgan and Vanderbilt on the membership list, the association usually got what it wanted. In 1905 a new park, in Elmont, was opened. Named for the man whose race had become famous, the track was called Belmont Park. (Elmont took that name in 1882; the origin of the name is unclear.)

The Belmont Stakes has been run at Belmont Park ever since, except for the years 1963 to 1968, when it was run at Aqueduct Race Track because the grandstand at Belmont was being rebuilt. While not as caught up in pomp and circumstance as the other two Triple Crown races, the Belmont has its traditions. There are two official songs, ‘’New York, New York’’ and ‘’The Sidewalks of New York,’’ and an official drink, an old colonial whiskey punch called the Belmont Breeze.

New York (NY) Daily News
A STAKE IN BELMONT
N.Y. traditions rival Preakness and Derby
By KERRY BURKE and TRACY CONNOR DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Friday, June 6th 2003, 9:10AM
New York racing fans might not know it, but the Belmont Stakes has its own traditions - and we’re not talking about long lines at the beer stand.

The race, which goes off tomorrow, has an official song, an official cocktail and an official flower. Never mind that two of those are only six years old.

For decades, the Belmont Stakes’ song was “Sidewalks of New York,” whose opening lyrics - “East Side, West Side, all around the town” - were about the only line New Yorkers knew.

In 1997, racing officials put the tune out to pasture and replaced it with something to appeal to a younger crowd: “New York, New York.” Apparently, at Belmont, a younger crowd is anyone younger than Frank Sinatra.

The same year, the fruity white carnation was replaced as the trademark stakes drink with the even fruitier Belmont Breeze.

New York (NY) Times
THE SUMMER COOK; The Appetites Are Nearing the Gate
By JULIE POWELL
Published: June 8, 2005
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Although Belmont Park lies just outside the city limits, it is quintessentially New York. And as the newest of the homes of the three legs of the Triple Crown, it has managed to remain the least fraught with grand tradition. At Churchill Downs, in Louisville, you can be pretty sure of what’s being served in those mint-bedecked silver cups, and at Pimlico, in Baltimore, you know you will eat Maryland crab cakes and quaff black-eyed Susans.

Belmont’s few rituals do not loom so large and mint julepy. The only food associated with the track is Manhattan clam chowder, a dish peculiarly unsuited to either summertime or railside eating. And few people have heard of either of the drinks associated with the Belmont: the white carnation, a concoction calling for a splash of cream, which has an unpleasant tendency to curdle when added to the vodka, orange juice and peach schnapps; and the Belmont breeze, a fruity, sherry-laced drink invented in 1998 by Dale DeGroff, then head bartender at the Rainbow Room.

(We made these cocktails for our last trip to the track and so can say with authority that although the Belmont breeze, which tastes like a refined trashcan punch, represents a significant improvement over the nigh undrinkable white carnation, neither has much hope of achieving the status of the mint julep, their Kentucky Derby sister.)

A Passionate Foodie
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Belmont Breeze Cocktail
The “spirit” of the Belmont Stakes is The Belmont Breeze, a refreshing cocktail created by New York City master mixologist, Dale DeGroff, a founder and president of The Museum of the American Cocktail due to open in New Orleans this summer. The Belmont Breeze is the official cocktail for horse racing’s Belmont Stakes, the oldest of the Triple Crown races.

“I created this cocktail to honor the tradition of whisky and mint drinks at the racetrack”, says Dale DeGroff, inventor of the “Belmont Breeze”. The cocktail has since become the signature drink of the Belmont Stakes.

A secret ingredient? Dry Sack, one of the world’s finest and most versatile sherries from Spain, It has a fragrant bouquet and a light yet satisfying taste that is neither too dry nor too sweet. “Historically, the racetrack was home to the fine cocktail. Whiskies and sherries were traditional ingredients used in the punches that were served in 19th century racing,” said DeGroff.

BELMONT BREEZE
Original Recipe by Dale DeGroff

1 1/2 ounces Makers Mark Bourbon
3/4 ounce Dry Sack
3/4 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
3/4 ounce Simple Syrup
1 1/2 ounce Fresh Orange juice
1 1/2 ounce Ocean Spray Cranberry juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and top with half 7up and half soda, approximately one ounce of each. Garnish with fresh strawberry, a mint sprig and a lemon wedge.

New York (NY) Post
DRINK UP!
By CARLA SPARTOS
Belmont Breeze
June 7, 2008—WHAT the mint julep is to the Kentucky Derby, the Belmont Breeze is to the Belmont Stakes, the final leg of the Triple Crown. But while the bracing julep is liable to make one snort, the gentler “breeze” - essentially a bourbon-based punch - is more conducive to nuzzling one’s date.

Its creator, mixologist Dale DeGroff, understands the importance of a well-balanced cocktail, and this one nicely incorporates sweet, tart and bitter elements. Think of it as a more genteel version of the Manhattan, with Dry Sack sherry standing in for the vermouth and an elegant punch bowl replacing the martini glass.
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Belmont Breeze
One 750 ml bottle of Maker’s Mark bourbon
12 oz. Dry Sack sherry
6 oz. fresh lemon juice
8 oz. simple syrup
24 oz. orange juice
24 oz. cranberry juice
16 oz. seltzer
16 oz. 7-UP

Stir all the ingredients together in a large punch bowl. Serve over ice and garnish with strawberries and fresh mint. Serves 12.

Newsday (Long Island, NY)
The Belmont Jewel: Belmont Stakes keeps changing its official drink
Updated June 4, 2015 10:19 PM
By RIDGELY OCHS
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In the 147 years of the Elmont race, there have been several official drinks. Since 2011 it has been the Belmont Jewel.
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The reason? The official drink has changed. Several times.

Before the Belmont Jewel it was the Belmont Breeze.

Before that it was the White Carnation.

And very briefly, according to the former general manager of the food and drink concession at Belmont Park until 1975, it was a drink called the Big Apple.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Saturday, June 07, 2008 • Permalink