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The Grand National 2024

The Grand National:
Seven winning cocktails to enjoy on race day

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Who doesn’t enjoy a flutter now and then? Especially on one of the biggest races of the year?


That’s right - the Grand National is set to kick off this weekend, with favourites like Corach Rambler and I Am Maximus set to storm the steeplechase in front of hundreds of thousands of attendees, and millions more watching at home.


If you’re watching at home, why not get into the spirit of things - quite literally - by enjoying a couple of refreshing drinks? Springtime at the races (even if you’re watching at home) is a great way to watch the event.

Tim Martin-Harvey, Head of E-Commerce and cocktail expert at The Bottle Club, says:


“Race days are always exciting, and it doesn’t get bigger than the Grand National.

“Horse racing and cocktails have always gone hand in hand. The Mint Julep, for example, is synonymous with one of the sport’s most famous races — the Kentucky Derby. 


“So if you’re having a flutter yourself, or just like to watch the action, kicking back with a cocktail can be a great way to enjoy the race day experience.”

Here are Tim’s winning recommendations for what to sip on this race day…

The Mint Julep


“If you've never heard of the Mint Julep, you have definitely been missing out,” says Tim.


“Thousands of juleps are poured during the Kentucky Derby, but any time is right for a sweet sip of bourbon with fresh mint. With an aromatic bouquet, this drink is designed to leave you feeling refreshed whatever the weather.


“Back in the 1700s, juleps were traditionally made with French brandy, before the rise of  bourbon whiskey, though it is not unusual to find the drink made with a nice aged rum too. The traditional race-day recipe wins out - but don’t be afraid to try the other variations if you’re willing to take a chance.”

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Prep time: 3 Minutes

Serves: 1

Nutrition: 156 Calories



  • 4 to 5 mint sprigs, leaves only

  • 2 sugar cubes, or 1/2 ounce simple syrup

  • 70ml bourbon whiskey

  • Mint sprig, for garnish


  • 1. In a Julep cup or rocks glass, lightly muddle the mint leaves in the simple syrup.

  • 2. Add the bourbon then pack the glass tightly with crushed ice.

  • 3. Stir until the cup is frosted on the outside.

  • 4. Top with more crushed ice to form an ice dome, and garnish with a mint sprig.

Horse's Neck


Tim says: “What a great name for a race-day cocktail! While it might sound like it’s inspired by the race track, The Horse’s Neck gets its singular name from its long coiled lemon peel that snakes around the inside of the glass. Despite this - it’s a popular choice of drink at race events around the world.


“Like the Mint Julep, you can switch out the whiskey for a rich brandy, or even switch it up with a spectacular aged rum - we recommend Puerto Rican or Caribbean for the best taste experience.”

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Prep time: 2 Minutes

Servings: 1

Nutrition: 85 Calories



  • 60ml bourbon, brandy or American rye whiskey

  • Ginger ale, chilled, to top

  • Garnish: lemon peel


  1. Add the whiskey into a Collins glass over ice.

  2. Top with ginger ale.

  3. Garnish with a long strip of lemon peel.

Pink Gin Fizz


"Love for pink gin has seriously swept the nation in recent years - and for good reason,” says Tim.“Light and refreshing, it’s the perfect drink to welcome in and enjoy the spring and summer months.


“If things are heating up on the track, cool down in style. This may be one of the easiest cocktails to serve. A super simple pink gin fizz cocktail recipe is a great homemade sweet treat, and can be made with pink gin or London dry gin, as the grenadine adds pink colour anyway.”

Prep time: 1 Minute

Serves: 1

Nutrition: 120 Calories



  • Ice small for mixing large for in the glass

  • 50 ml Gin - can use pink gin or dry gin.

  • 25 ml Grenadine 

  • 25 ml Lemon Juice - fresh squeezed is best

  • Soda Water or Lemonade - use desired amount to taste

  • 1 sliced Lemon or Grapefruit - for in the glass and to garnish


  1. Add Gin, Grenadine, Lemon Juice and Soda Water to a glass.

  2. Stir briefly and add ice.

  3. Serve with a sliced lemon or grapefruit garnish.

Pornstar Martini Recipe

“Are you ready to be risqué on race day? Then this is the drink for you.  Created by mixologist Douglas Ankrah in London’s trendiest bar scene in 2002, the Pornstar Martini became an overnight sensation and is now one of the most popular cocktails in the world,” Tim says.


“For the most part, when people order a Pornstar Martini, they just add the shot of prosecco to the cocktail. Well, there is some debate around the ‘proper’ way to drink a Pornstar Martini. When are you meant to drink the prosecco? What do you do with the garnish? Sip or shot, I say - just enjoy!

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Prep time: 3 Minutes

Serves: 1

Nutrition: 280 Calories



  • 40ml vanilla-flavoured vodka

  • 115ml passion fruit liqueur

  • 30ml ounce passion fruit puree

  • 15ml lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • 15ml vanilla simple syrup

  •  60ml Sparkling Wine, Prosecco or Champagne, chilled

  • Garnish: 1/2 passion fruit


1. Add all ingredients except sparkling wine into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously until well  chilled.

2. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.

3. Garnish with a passion fruit half.

7. Serve with a sparkling wine sidecar (on the side)

Kentucky Mule Recipe

Tim says: “You're bound to have heard of the Moscow Mule. But have you tried its cousin, the Kentucky Mule? This is a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey cocktail, and though it's not as famous as the Moscow Mule, it packs a punch and is seriously satisfying. 


“The Kentucky Mule is an excellent option for race-day enthusiasts who prefer a lighter and less sweet drink. The bourbon cuts through the ginger more aggressively than vodka, resulting in a more flavourful drink than the more famous Vodka version.”

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Prep time: 1 Minute

Serves: 1

Nutrition: 180 Calories



  •  60ml bourbon whiskey

  • 15ml (1 tablespoon) fresh lime juice

  • 120ml ginger beer

  • For serving: ice, lime wedge, fresh mint


1. In a copper mug or glass, pour in the bourbon, lime juice, and ginger beer.

2. Add ice and garnish with a lime wedge and fresh mint. Serve immediately.

Strawberry Mojito Recipe

“If things are really heating up, then a Mojito should definitely be on your race-day drink list. Sweet seasonal strawberries are an excellent accompaniment to a mojito's sweet, sour, minty flavour,” Tim suggests.


“Strawberry Mojitos are the definition of a crowd-pleaser, so they’re a great choice if friends and family are coming round to watch events. We recommend using Bacardi but any white rum will do. White rum is clear, like vodka, and has a subtle, sweet flavour. It appears in a lot of classic summer cocktails that we know and love.”

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Serves: 1

Prep time: 3 Minutes

Nutrition: 228 Calories



  •  30ml strawberry syrup

  • 3 fresh strawberries

  • 2-3 fresh spearmint sprigs (chopped if you prefer smaller mint pieces in your cocktail)

  • 30 ml fresh lime juice

  • 60 ml white rum

  • 90-120 ml soda water


 1. In a chilled highball glass (about 10-12 ounces), muddle the simple syrup, strawberries and mint leaves together with the back of a spoon or muddler. 

2. Crush the strawberries and mint leaves well.

3. Stir in the lime juice and rum. Fill the glass with ice and top off with soda water.

4. Garnish with mint sprigs or strawberry slices.

Aperol Spritz Cocktail Recipe

Tim says: “A popular choice on refreshingly crisp blue sky days, an Aperol Spritz can be the perfect choice to watch your winner rocket down the final stretch.  The sweetness of the Prosecco and tartness of the Aperol can really balance each other out to create a zesty, effervescent, refreshing beverage that complements almost any meal or occasion. 


“This cocktail works incredibly well accompanying salty foods, so it’s the perfect choice to enjoy with a cheeseboard throughout the day.”

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Prep time: 1 Minutes

Serves: 1 

Nutrition: 117 Calories



  • 75 ml Prosecco

  • 50 ml Aperol

  • 25 ml soda

  • Ice

  • Slice of orange (Garnish)


  1. Fill your large wine glass (or official Aperol Spritz glass!) with plenty of ice

  2. Add 3 parts Prosecco, then 2 parts Aperol

  3. Add a dash of soda and stir briefly

  4. Garnish with an orange slice and enjoy!

Tim Martin Harvey
Resident Cocktail Specialist 
©2024.English Living.All Rights Reserved.
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