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Breaking from the Kentucky Derby tradition of sipping mint juleps, a group of Marco women recently learned how to mix some tasty alternatives for Saturday’s race.

“We basically got a jump on celebrating the Kentucky Derby,” said Jodi Pree, president of the Newcomers Club and member of an A&E group within the club called the Island Girls. Each member has a turn hosting an outing during the year.

Recently, some of those members got all decked out in their derby best and spent an afternoon at Martinis Bombay, learning from master mixologist and Martinis owner, Chad Chupurdia.

The women learned how to make delicious alternatives to the traditional mint julep. On the menu were: an Old Fashioned, a Nor’easter, and a slightly dirty Manhattan.

“He takes the mystery and intimidation factor out of how to pour drinks and how to mix them together,” Pree said. “Each of these alternatives was a huge hit with the ladies.”

The recipes:

Southern Comfort Old Fashioned

Orange slice with rind

1 -2 sugar packs

3 maraschino cherries

2 dashes of bitters

Mash well until mostly pulp except for orange rind

Add:

1 1/2 oz of Southern Comfort

Fill glass with ice

top with club soda

Stir

Southern Comfort Manhattan (slightly dirty Manhattan)

2 oz of Southern Comfort

3/4 oz of sweet vermouth

3/4 oz of cherry juice

Mix

Add Ice to the top

garnish with cherries

Nor' Easter

Full large glass of ice

1 oz of syrup (pour over ice)

1 1/4 oz of Maker's Mark or other fine bourbon

squeeze 1/8 of a lime (wedge) ; then add to glass

Cover top of glass with another glass or other secure top

Shake aggressively to mix syrup at bottom of glass with bourbon

Top off with ginger beer

Garnish with 3 or more mint leaves

Add cucumber slice with rind on as additional garnish if desired

Add ice as needed

Aimed at both friendship and compassion, the club stages events all year – luncheons with invited speakers, a gala holiday ball and participation in the island’s Christmas parade – but it also promotes mini-clubs such as cooking, painting, shooting and self-defense, needlework, literature, writing, philosophy and table games.

Prospective new members should visit Marconewcomers.org.

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