The Black-Eyed Susan: The Official Cocktail of the Preakness Stakes

Black Eyed Susan cocktail
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The official drink of the Preakness Stakes is the Black-Eyed Susan. While the name doesn't change, there have been a few "official" recipes over the years. Vodka and fruit juices are always the focus, though sometimes we see a little whiskey or rum tossed into the mix.

The 2015 Black-Eyed Susan cocktail (according to the Preakness website) features Finlandia Vodka, mixes in a little St. Germain, and piles on the fruit juices. It's a very nice drink and seems to have a greater appeal than many of its predecessors.

What You'll Need

How to Make It

  1. Build the ingredients in a tall glass filled with ice.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Garnish with an orange slice.

Why So Many Black-Eyed Susans?

Professional sports are filled with sponsorships and the Triple Crown of horse racing is no different. It's just not as blatant and we see it most often in each race's "official cocktail."

The drinks of Belmont Stakes and the Preakness have changed quite a few times over the years.

And yet, the Mint Julep is so ingrained in the Kentucky Derby that it will never go away. However, there is a new "official Mint Julep recipe" released each year with a few minor tweaks.

The Preakness regularly changes the "official cocktail," though the name stays the same. It's entirely possible that the Black Eyed Susan recipe will continue to change each year.

A Whiskey-Laced Black-Eyed Susan

The Black-Eyed Susan is always a rather simple drink. This recipe hails from the 2011 Preakness and includes both whiskey and vodka with a considerable amount of sour mix and some fresh orange juice thrown in for good measure.

It is served as a tall drink and can be thought of as an enhanced Screwdriver with a Whiskey Sour kick.

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with iceShake vigorouslyStrain over ice into a collins glass. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.

The Original Black-Eyed Susan

The first cocktail that took on the Black-Eyed Susan name combined rum and vodka with equal parts of orange and pineapple juices. Apparently, this one began in 1973 as a ready-to-drink cocktail. Cocktailians.com has a detailed story about it at The Triple Crown of Cocktails.

Build the ingredients in a collins glass filled with crushed ice. Squeeze the juice of a lime wedge into the drink. Garnish with an orange wheel, pineapple cube, and cherry. 

(Edited by Colleen Graham)