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Visit California

Commissioned by Visit California and crafted in L.A. by mixologist Eric Tocosky, the “Golden Gait” features distinctly Californian ingredients and celebrates the state’s vibrant horse racing past, present and future.

More Information

  • California Chrome’s Triple Crown quest could be like a day at the beach
  • California Chrome Diary: Colt has a nose for sponsors
  • California Chrome ready for race with history
  • Golden Gait


    1-1/2 ounces 100 percent pure agave tequila

    1/2 ounce Tuaca vanilla citrus liqueur

    1 ounce fresh California lime juice

    3/4 ounce simple syrup

    1 medium California strawberry

    3 drops Serrano/basil tincture (recipe follows) or other Serrano hot sauce


    Muddle strawberry in cocktail shaker. Add all the other ingredients.

    Add ice. Shake well. Strain into a chilled, salt rinsed martini glass.

    Garnish with a grilled orange wheel.

    Serrano Chile/Basil Tincture: Slice two Serrano chiles. Put them in a small mason jar. Add 8 basil leaves. Cover the pepper and basil with vodka (preferably 100 proof). Close lid and let sit for three hours. Strain out pepper and basil.

    Grilled orange wheel: Slice a thin orange wheel. Drizzle a little tequila on wheel. Grill on both sides until marks are noticeable.

Toast California Chrome’s historic run with the ‘Golden Gait’ cocktail

Published: Friday, Jun. 6, 2014 - 3:27 pm
Last Modified: Saturday, Jun. 7, 2014 - 10:29 am

How do you toast California Chrome?

Catching Chrome fever, the Sacramento-based Visit California (formerly the California Travel and Tourism Commission) asked mixologist Eric Tecosky to develop a distinctly California cocktail in honor of the first California-bred horse to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

California Chrome will attempt to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes.

Tecosky came up with the “Golden Gait” – a combination of tequila, lime, vanilla-citrus liqueur, strawberry, simple syrup and a dash of Serrano hot sauce.

The L.A.-based mixologist makes his own Serrano-basil tincture to add an extra edge. He serves the Golden Gait in a chilled “salt rinsed” martini glass, swirling a little Dirty Sue olive juice in the glass before filling. For a flourish, he garnishes his Golden Gait with a grilled orange wheel.

Traditionally, each leg of the Triple Crown has a distinctive (and regional) drink: Mint julep at the Kentucky Derby, Black-eyed Susan at the Preakness and Long Island Iced Tea at the Belmont (in honor of Belmont Park’s location). But Visit California thought California Chrome deserved a salute from his home state and is promoting it via social media.

“Living in California means breaking new ground, thinking big and making the unachievable a reality,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California. “Seeing a local horse on an unprecedented journey to the Triple Crown has been truly inspiring, so we wanted to send our support in a very big way through both social media and the development of a new California-themed signature cocktail to toast this landmark achievement in horse racing.”

For more “only in California” ideas, click on

Call The Bee’s Debbie Arrington, (916) 321-1075. Follow her on Twitter @debarrington.

Read more articles by Debbie Arrington

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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Note: The Appetizers blog switched blog platforms in August 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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