Belmont Jewel Cocktail

5 from 4 votes

A drink for the races, the Belmont Jewel cocktail is the #1 drink for toasting the Belmont Stakes horse race. Bourbon, lemonade and pomegranate juice served over crushed ice make for a fruity punch that’s delicious all summer long. 

two red cocktails with lemon garnishes

About this Belmont Jewel Cocktail recipe

If you’re celebrating any leg of the American Triple Crown horse races, you’re going to need a cocktail.

The last race in this horse race trio is the Belmont Stakes, which means the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes are behind us. It’s always fascinating to see if a horse will win the entire trio. (It hasn’t been done since the horse Justify won in 2018, so it will be a big deal if another guy and his horse can pull it off!)

Did you know there’s an official cocktail for each leg of the Triple Crown races? There’s the julep for the Kentucky Derby and the Black Eyed Susan for the Preakness Stakes

Today we’re making the crown jewel of these drinks: the Belmont Jewel recipe, the official cocktail of the Belmont Stakes. This race is typically held on the first or second Saturday in June.

More derby drinks: Woodford SpireKentucky Oaks LilyKentucky Mule

a gold paper straw in a belmont jewel drink

Why you’ll love this recipe

The Belmont Jewel is a bright, fruity and refreshing cocktail. You’ll love it because…

  • The Belmont Jewel is super easy to put together.
  • It’s a fun drink for watching the Belmont Stakes, but it’s delicious all summer long.
  • If you’re not a fan of the Derby’s bourbon drinks, this vodka cocktail will be so refreshing.

The Triple Crown Drinks

For all of the races, I thought it would be fun to share recipes for the official drinks of each, and today’s the final leg in this relay.

First, in honor of the Kentucky Derby, we have the classic mint julep, which is a strong, classic cocktail made with fresh mint, sugar and sweet Kentucky bourbon. (I also have a virgin mint julep recipe that’s great for non-drinkers.)

Next up is the Preakness Stakes, held between the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. Its official drink is the Black-Eyed Susan cocktail. This one is a vodka drink with elderflower liqueur and pineapple, lime and orange juices. 

To round out the trifecta of Derby cocktails, there’s the Belmont Jewel cocktail made with bourbon, lemonade and pomegranate juice. But it wasn’t the first of the official Belmont Stakes cocktails. 

a belmont jewel cocktail in a glass that says "fabulous"

Belmont Jewel history

In addition to the current Belmont Jewel cocktail, the Belmont Stakes has had a plethora of other cocktail recipes over the years, a stark departure from the mint julep’s fame at the Derby.

A drink of vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice and cream, called the White Carnation, was the official drink until 1998, when bartender Dale DeGroff brought the Belmont Breeze onto the scene with its complicated combination of whiskey, sherry, soda and lemon, orange and cranberry juices. Then, in 2011, the Jewel came onto the scene.

The Belmont Jewel cocktail is both simpler and more unique in flavor than its two predecessors. It has small-batch bourbon, pomegranate juice and lemonade.

These ingredients go so well together. The lemonade brings a touch of sweet-and-sour, pomegranate brings more tartness and the whiskey has its oaky, smoky undertones. It’s a very well-balanced drink. Though I’ve always been a julep fan, this one totally strikes my fancy!

a belmont jewel in a glass that says "stay fancy" in gold

Ingredients

The Belmont Jewel is a simple three-ingredient drink. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • bourbon: An American bourbon whiskey brings sweet layers of woodiness, vanilla and caramel.
  • lemonade: Sweet and sour, lemonade adds a punch of citrus for balance.
  • pomegranate juice: Tart pomegranate juice has a kick of robust berry flavor.
  • lemon garnish: You could use a lemon twist, slice or wedge to finish off the drink.
  • cocktail cherry: I prefer a cocktail cherry (I make my own cocktail cherries!)

Best bourbon

To make this signature drink, you’ll need a really good whiskey. If you have a favorite, use that! If not, choose something from the middle-shelf so it doesn’t break the bank, but isn’t cheap (or cheap-tasting).

I prefer a 90-proof bourbon like Woodford Reserve bourbon. That one has been the official whiskey of the Belmont Stakes in the past.

Sponsorships change from year to year: Knob Creek, Woodinville and Redemption bourbons have all been featured. At my house, we like Old Forester, Four Roses and Maker’s Mark.

two belmont jewels with lemon garnishes and gold straws

Instructions

I’ll totally be enjoying one of these bourbon cocktails all summer long, whether it’s horse-racing season or not. If you will, too, you’ll need to know how to make it!

  1. First, fill a highball glass with crushed ice and set aside.
  2. Then add ice cubes to a cocktail shaker. Add the bourbon, lemonade and pomegranate juice.
  3. Vigorously shake them all together to chill the drink and combine the ingredients well.
  4. Strain the cocktail into the prepared glass. Garnish with a cocktail cherry, lemon wedge or a lemon twist.
crushed ice in two belmont jewel cocktails

Tips & tricks

Around 12,000 of these signature drinks will be served at the Belmont Stakes, so if you’re making them at home, you want them to be the best. Here’s what I do.

  • Use a high-quality bourbon for the best flavor.
  • Make your own lemonade with fresh lemons so you can control the sweetness. It’s so refreshing.
  • Don’t forget the garnish! A lemon twist (and a cocktail cherry if you like) adds fragrance as you sip the drink and enhances the overall experience.
  • For a derby party, stir up a big batch in a pitcher so you don’t have to shake drinks all day long.
belmont jewel cocktails on a white background

FAQ

What is the official drink for the Belmont Stakes race?

The Belmont Jewel — a drink of pomegranate juice, lemonade and bourbon whiskey — has been the official drink since 2011. Prior to the Jewel, the White Carnation and the Belmont Breeze were the reigning recipes.

What is the official bourbon of the Belmont Stakes?

Whiskey sponsors for the Belmont Stakes can change from year to year. In 2015, Knob Creek created a commemorative Belmont Stakes label for their bourbon. Woodford Reserve was the official sponsor of Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course from 2016 to 2018. In 2022, Belmont Jewels at the park were made with Woodinville Straight Bourbon Whiskey. As of 2024, the official recipe on the Belmont Stakes website advertises Redemption® Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

closeup of lemons on belmont jewels

More Derby cocktails

The julep is a fun cocktail to play with. The Basil Julep, for example, is a variation made with basil simple syrup.

If you like juleps, you should also check out the Honey Mint Julep, the Irish Whiskey Mint Julep, the Chocolate Mint Julep and the Blackberry Mint Julep

You could also enjoy another bourbon drink like a strawberry Kentucky buck or a simple old-fashioned.

And if you just love sports cocktails, why not try Wimbledon’s Pimm’s Cup or the Masters Tournament’s Azalea cocktail?

A drink for the races, the Belmont Jewel is the #1 drink for toasting the Belmont Stakes. Bourbon, lemonade and pomegranate juice served over crushed ice make for a fruity punch that's delicious all summer long. (via feastandwest.com)

Belmont Jewel Cocktail

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
A bright cocktail fit to drink during the Belmont Stakes or to enjoy all summer long.
5 from 4 votes
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ingredients

  • ounces bourbon
  • 2 ounces lemonade
  • 1 ounce pomegranate juice
  • 1 lemon twist for garnish (optional)
  • 1 marashino cherry for garnish (optional)

instructions

  • Fill a highball glass with crushed ice and set aside.
  • In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, vigorously shake together the bourbon, lemonade and pomegranate juice.
  • Pour the cocktail into the ice-filled glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry or a lemon twist.

notes

Best bourbon: If you have a favorite, use that! If not, choose something from the middle-shelf so it doesn’t break the bank, but isn’t cheap (or cheap-tasting). I prefer an 80- or 90-proof bourbon. At my house, we like Old Forester, Four Roses and Maker’s Mark.
Woodford Reserve has been the official whiskey of the Belmont Stakes in the past. Sponsorships change from year to year: Knob Creek, Woodinville and Redemption bourbons have all been featured.
Don’t forget the garnish! A lemon twist and/or a cocktail cherry adds fragrance as you sip the drink, which enhances the overall experience.
 

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nutrition information

Yield: 1 cocktail

amount per serving:

Serving: 4.5ounces Calories: 142kcal Carbohydrates: 11g Protein: 0.04g Fat: 0.1g Saturated Fat: 0.02g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g Sodium: 7mg Potassium: 62mg Fiber: 0.03g Sugar: 10g Vitamin C: 0.03mg Calcium: 3mg Iron: 0.1mg
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Comments

  1. Cate @ Chez CateyLou says

    This cocktail looks so pretty and sounds delicious! What a fun drink for the horse race!!

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