The Kentucky Oaks, a race held the day before the Kentucky Derby, has its own signature drink: The Oaks Lily. The Oaks Lily is a refreshing and fruity cocktail made with vodka, cranberry juice, Triple Sec, and a splash of lemon juice.
It’s garnished with blackberries and a lemon wheel and served in a highball glass. The drink is named after the pink and white lilies that are traditionally draped over the winning filly’s neck at the end of the race.
Not only is the Oaks Lily a delicious drink, but it also supports a good cause. A portion of the proceeds from each Oaks Lily sold goes to support breast cancer research and awareness. So, if you’re looking for a tasty and charitable drink to serve at your next Derby party, the Oaks Lily is a perfect choice.
If you’re a fan of horse racing, you’re probably familiar with the Kentucky Derby, one of the most famous horse races in the world. But did you know that the day before the Derby, there’s another race at Churchill Downs called the Kentucky Oaks? And just like the Derby has its signature drink, the mint julep, the Oaks has its own official cocktail: the Oaks Lily.
The Oaks Lily has been the official drink of the Kentucky Oaks since 2006, when it was introduced as a new signature cocktail. It’s a variation on the Cosmopolitan, with vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and a splash of lemonade. But what really sets the Oaks Lily apart is its bright pink color, which comes from the addition of cranberry juice.
The Kentucky Oaks itself has a long history, dating back to 1875, just one year after the first Kentucky Derby. The race is for three-year-old thoroughbred fillies, and is sometimes referred to as the “Lilies for the Fillies” race. The Oaks is the third-oldest continuously run race in the country, after the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes.
How to Make It
- 1 1/2 oz vodka
- 1 oz sweet and sour mix
- 1/4 oz triple sec
- 3 oz cranberry juice
- Blackberries and lemon wedges for garnish
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Add vodka, sweet and sour mix, triple sec, and cranberry juice to the shaker.
- Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
- Strain the mixture into a highball glass filled with ice.
- Garnish with two skewered blackberries and a lemon wheel.
If you prefer a sweeter drink, you can add a splash of simple syrup to the mixture. You can also substitute the vodka with Grey Goose to give the drink a smoother taste.
The Oaks Lily cocktail is a fruity and refreshing drink that is perfect for any occasion. It is often compared to the Cosmopolitan due to its pink color and fruity taste. One serving of this drink contains approximately 190 calories, so it's important to consume in moderation.
If you’re looking to switch things up from the classic Oaks Lily cocktail, there are a few variations you can try to add some variety to your drink menu.
Blackberry Oaks Lily
For a twist on the classic, try adding muddled blackberries to your Oaks Lily cocktail. Start by muddling a few blackberries in the bottom of your glass, then add in your vodka, cranberry juice, Triple Sec, and lemon juice. Top it off with ice and a skewered blackberry for garnish.
Cosmopolitan Oaks Lily
If you’re a fan of the classic Cosmopolitan cocktail, try making an Oaks Lily with a Cosmo twist. Swap out the cranberry juice for a splash of lime juice and add in some simple syrup for sweetness. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled glass, then garnish with a lemon wheel.
Mint Julep Oaks Lily
For a taste of the South, try incorporating the flavors of a classic Mint Julep into your Oaks Lily cocktail. Start by muddling a few fresh mint leaves in the bottom of your glass, then add in your vodka, cranberry juice, Triple Sec, and a splash of simple syrup. Top it off with ice and a sprig of fresh mint for garnish.
Grey Goose Oaks Lily
For a more elevated version of the Oaks Lily, try using Grey Goose vodka instead of a standard vodka. This premium vodka has a smooth, clean taste that pairs perfectly with the refreshing flavors of the Oaks Lily cocktail.