June 10 will be the 149th Running of the Belmont Stakes in Elmont. The oldest of the Triple Crown events, the Belmont Stakes was first run in 1867. Also known as the “Test of the Champion,” it is the longest race, at 1.5 miles, in terms of distance. This is the ultimate test of endurance for competing horses and whether you are the betting kind or not, this event is absolutely electrifying to watch!
Throwing a Belmont Stakes viewing party is the perfect way to commemorate this thrilling local event. Gather your friends and family around for a day filled with fun, food, and entertainment. We’ve collected a few ways for you to weave the traditions of the Belmont Stakes into your ultimate viewing party.
Traditionally, the winner of the Belmont Stakes is draped with a blanket made with well over 300 white carnations. A quick visit to your local florist will allow you to decorate your home with these minimalistic flowers. The traditional winner’s trophy is crafted by Tiffany, but you can raid the china cabinet for a few silver accents of your own. If you find yourself without an abundance of silver bowls and cups (like myself), improvise! You can find many faux silver gilded cups, plates and napkins in the wedding section of your local party supply store. Additionally, you can decorate your space with a few felt pennants and horseshoes.
Load up your playlist with everything and anything that has ever been crooned about New York. A quick google search will provide you with a well-rounded list of songs dedicated to our amazing home state. Everything from Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” to the Beastie Boy’s “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” will ensure a party that remains festive until the horses cross the finish line!
Nothing says New York quite like a delicious slice of warm, cheesy pizza. This beautiful Heirloom Tomato Pizza recipe by Heather Christo will be sure to impress your party guests.
Heirloom Tomato Pizza
Number of servings: 12
- 1 pizza dough
- olive oil
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 cup packed basil leaves
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly
- 5 cups fresh heirloom tomatoes, different colors
- kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle the sheet pan with a little olive oil.
- Roll out the pizza crust until thin, and fold over the crust. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and bake the crust for 12 minutes.
- While the crust is baking combine the basil and the ¼ cup olive oil in the blender and puree until smooth.
- Spread ½ cup of the basil oil puree over the crust.
- Add the sliced mozzarella.
- Bake the pizza for another 12 minutes until the crust is golden and the mozzarella is melted.
- Meanwhile, thinly slice the heirloom tomatoes.
- Evenly spread the heirloom tomatoes over the top of the hot pizza and sprinkle the tomatoes with kosher salt. Serve immediately.
With Woodford Reserve as the official Bourbon of the Belmont Stakes, you need to have a proper Bourbon cocktail. Kristy Gardner from She Eats, creates a sparkling whiskey smash with fresh summer strawberries, lime and basil.
Sparkling Strawberry Lime Whiskey Smash
Makes 2 drinks.
- 4 Ounces Woodford Reserve Bourbon
- 1 Lb Organic Strawberries
- 1 OzLori’s Salt Caramel Syrup
- Juice of 4 Limes
- Small Handful of Fresh Basil
- Couple Splashes of Soda Water
- Chuck the strawberries in a blender or food processor. Puree for 30 seconds. If desired, strain to remove seeds (I didn’t bother).
- Grab the limes as that works and roll them on the counter with the heel of your hand. This will help the juices release when you’re ready.
- Divide and chuck the basil, salt caramel syrup, lime juice and bourbon into 2 tall, wide mouthed glasses – or mason jars – and muddle lightly with a wooden spoon.
- Fill the glasses with ice. Pour in the strawberry puree and leave about an inch of headroom at the top of the glass. Top up with soda water. Stir.
- Garnish with a fresh sprig of basil and a sliced strawberry.
Very few desserts are decidedly more “New York” than cheesecake. Your guests will appreciate this no fuss treat while they watch the race. Nothing beats the simplicity of these sweet little desserts!
No Bake Mason Jar Cheesecake
Makes 4 mason jar cheesecakes
- 1 package (4 ounces) of Honey Maid Graham Crackers (honey flavor)
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 bar (8 ounces) Neufchatel cream cheese, room temperature
- 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup full fat, vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped into soft peaks
- 1 cup mixed fresh berries
- Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground (you should have about 1 cup). Add butter, 1 tablespoon sugar, and a pinch of salt to the smashed crackers; mix until combined. Press crumbs evenly into the bottom of 4 mason jars.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on high, beat cream cheese until fluffy, 3 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, yogurt, vanilla, and a pinch of salt; beat until smooth. With a rubber spatula, fold in whipped cream. Spoon cream cheese mixture into crust and smooth top. Screw lids on and refrigerate until firm, at least 8 hours (or overnight).
- Combine berries and remaining 1/2 tablespoon sugar; let stand 5 minutes. Spoon berries and juices on top of cheesecakes.