• Wednesday, September 30, 2020

STK Downtown Kentucky Derby Cocktail

A Prize-Winning Kentucky Derby Cocktail
By , Food Writer
May 1, 2019

STK in NYC’s Meatpacking district certainly knows how to craft a Kentucky Derby bourbon cocktail that leads the pack. After all, this first location of the swanky chophouse chainlet has been a destination for Derby day-drinkers, diners, and revelers since it opened in 2006. But if you’re not donning an over-the-top fascinator or fedora and watching this Saturday’s Derby live from Louisville or STK, you can still recreate the steakhouse’s Manhattan to win first prize at home.

We borrowed a pro move from STK’s master mixologists to make sure we get the Manhattan just right. Start by “rinsing” a martini glass with Fernet-Branca. Rinsing is a subtle way to accent a cocktail with an assertive spirit without overpowering the entire drink. Just add a half-ounce of the liqueur to a glass, swirl the liquid, and tilt the glass until the interior is coated with a thin layer of the spirit. Then, discard (or drink) the remaining liquid before adding the other cocktail ingredients, and toast the Kentucky Derby, A.K.A. “the most exciting two minutes in sports!”

Not Your Daddy’s Manhattan


½ ounces Fernet-Branca liqueur

2 ½ ounces Bulleit Bourbon

½ ounces Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth

3 dashes Angostura bitters

2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

1 Luxardo cherry, for garnish

1 lemon twist, for garnish


1. Rinse a martini glass with Fernet-Branca (see note above).

2. Pour bourbon and vermouth into mixing glass; add ice.

3. Stir mixture and strain into martini glass.

4. Garnish with a cherry and lemon twist.

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