By Paige Rhodes

Photos by Paige Rhodes

This time of year brings out a ton of fashion, food, and of course, the classic cocktails: the Mint Julep and the Grey Goose Oaks Lily. We all know that the Mint Julep’s call to fame is bourbon and mint, but not everyone is aware of the inner workings of a Lily. The Lily is the official drink of The Oaks and is as refreshing as it is beautiful. The cocktail is made from Grey Goose vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, cranberry juice, and orange liqueur, with a lemon wedge and blackberry to garnish. The two recipes that follow incorporate the flavors of each cocktail into two completely different dishes that you can be proud to serve at your Derby Day bash.

Lily Cake (Lemon Cake with Cranberry Glaze)
Yield: 1 9-inch Bundt cake

1 cup unsalted butter, plus more for greasing, at room temperature
3/4 cups sugar
2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cups whole milk
1 tbsp lemon zest
4 tbsp lemon juice
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tbsp cranberry juice
1 tsp orange zest
1 cup confectioners sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease and flour a 9-inch Bundt pan.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and light in texture, about 5 minutes.

While the butter is beating, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt, and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk, lemon zest, and 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice and set aside.

Add the eggs to the butter-sugar mixture, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Alternate adding the sifted dry ingredients and the wet ingredients (three times) to the butter-sugar mixture, stirring on low until just incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan or fill each muffin cup two-thirds full with batter. Bake until the center of cake springs back when touched and a skewer inserted near the center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Release the sides and bottom of the cake from the pan with a narrow metal spatula or knife. Invert the pan and turn out the cake. Place a wire rack in a baking pan and set the cake, right side up, on the rack.

In a small bowl, combine the confectioner’s sugar, cranberry juice, and orange zest. Stir until very smooth. Add a little more confectioner’s sugar or water as necessary to achieve a glaze consistency similar to that of honey. Spoon the glaze evenly over the cake. When the glaze has firmed, transfer to a cake stand and garnish with blackberries and lemon wedges. Serve at room temp.

Bourbon Glazed Pork Belly Biscuit Sliders with Mint Jelly
Yield: 8 Sliders

3 pounds skin-on, boneless center-cut pork belly
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 12-ounce bottles of Bourbon Barrel Ale
1 cup unfiltered apple juice
1 cup, plus 2 tbsp bourbon
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 can large flakey biscuits (8 count) baked according to package directions
Mint jelly to serve

Using a very sharp knife, score pork in a tight crosshatch pattern to form ½-inch diamonds, cutting through fat but stopping at flesh. Season with salt and pepper, massaging into cuts.

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pork with skin side down, turning once, until browned all over, 5–8 minutes per side.

Transfer to a crockpot and add beer, apple juice and 1 cup of bourbon. Turn your crockpot to high and set timer for 4 hours.

When pork is done, remove from braising liquid and discard the juices.

For the bourbon glaze, combine brown sugar and 2 tbsp of bourbon in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until the glaze is reduced to a syrup consistency.

Slice the pork into 8 portions and brush with bourbon glaze.

Serve on a flaky biscuit with a generous schmear of mint jelly. Serve warm if possible.