The Belmont Breeze Cocktail

Dale DeGroff's Belmont Breeze Cocktail
Blake DeGroff
Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
152 Calories
0g Fat
13g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 152
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 93mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 27mg 134%
Calcium 20mg 2%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 91mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Dale "King Cocktail" DeGroff created the Belmont breeze in 1997 and it became the official drink of the Belmont Stakes. The recipe replaced the white carnation and has since been replaced by the Belmont jewel. In no way does that take away from the greatness of this cocktail, either.

The Belmont breeze is a fun and lightly fruity cocktail with a bourbon and sherry base. It's easy to mix up and is a cocktail that you can enjoy beyond a day of watching the horses.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the whiskey, sherry, lemon juice, simple syrup, orange juice, cranberry juice, and mint leaves.

  3. Shake well.

  4. Strain into a cocktail glass or a highball glass over fresh ice.

  5. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig and orange peel or slice. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe Variations

  • Recently, DeGroff updated the Belmont breeze recipe and it is just as tasty as the original. The Belmont breeze no. 2 features rye whiskey, Pedro Ximenez Sherry, and DeGroff's own pimento bitters. It also skips the cranberry and syrup and opts for more orange juice.
  • As in the new recipe, feel free to top this one with club soda or lemon-lime soda (DeGroff recommends 7-Up) when serving it as a highball.
  • Similar to the mint julep, you can certainly muddle the mint and simple syrup and build this drink directly in the glass. Crushed ice is a good option as well.


  • Bourbon or rye whiskey, which should you choose? Really, either is a great option. This is especially true now that rye has made a comeback and many impressive brands are available again. Go with whatever you have in the bar or use this cocktail as an excuse to try something new.
  • Sherry is a Spanish style of fortified wine and it's a fantastic addition to this drink. It's interesting to note that in the new recipe, DeGroff switches from a medium-dry sherry to Pedro Ximenez, which is one of the sweetest. Either would make a good choice in this recipe. Amontillado and Oloroso are the richer varieties and well-suited for this Belmont breeze recipe. Fino will be the driest sherry you'll find.
  • Pay attention while pouring each of the three fruit juices, particularly the orange and cranberry. This is not meant to be one of those tall, super-fruity cocktails like the madras or sea breeze. Instead, they're mere accents that should not cover up the whiskey and sherry.
  • The same can be said about the amount of mint for the Belmont breeze. Where many mint cocktails (e.g., mojito and mint julep) typically use a "sprig" of mint, DeGroff is very specific. By using just five mint leaves, the drink retains a nice balance. Remember, it's not necessarily a "mint cocktail," it's a "cocktail with mint."

How Strong Is the Belmont Breeze?

Perfect for a day at the race track, the Belmont breeze is a rather gentle cocktail. When made with an 80-proof whiskey, it has an alcohol content around 16 percent ABV (32 proof). That's just slightly stronger than a glass of wine.