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Black Eyed Susan Cocktail

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The Black Eyed Susan Cocktail is the official drink of the Preakness Stakes, the 2nd leg of the Triple Crown. With a wonderful mix of fruit juice, rum and vodka, you’ll be making these all year long!

This post, images and recipe card were updated May 14, 2020
close up shot of 2 Black Eyed Susan cocktails with lime and cherries on the side

When most people think of horse racing, the first thing that comes to mind is the Kentucky Derby. But when you’re in Maryland, it’s all about Preakness.

A couple of years ago, I hosted a Preakness party. I’m always looking for a reason to have a party, and most of my Oklahoma friends had no idea Preakness is such a big deal. So this party was the opportunity to dress up, wear big hats, and enjoy the perfect themed cocktail.

The official drink of the Derby is the Mint Julep. The Black Eyed Susan is the state flower of Maryland, and the winning horse gets draped in a blanket covered in the flowers. No surprise, the Official Drink of the Preakness Stakes is the Black Eyed Susan Cocktail.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
  • It’s fresh, fruity and delicious
  • You can make it as strong or as weak as you’d like
  • It’s the perfect drink all summer long…heck, all year long!

The Black Eyed Susan is an absolute hit every time I’ve served them, and we can’t make them fast enough!

angled overhead shot of 2 Black Eyed Susans with 2 spoon in the middle with cherries and lime wedges on the side

Fair warning: The Black Eyed Susan packs a punch! The juice does help to tone it down, but with 3 types of alcohol it’s going to be strong.

WHAT’S IN A BLACK EYED SUSAN?

I found many different versions of the “official” recipe, but what doesn’t change is vodka and orange juice. So basically, the Black Eyed Susan an amped-up screwdriver

The Black Eyed Susan ingredients are in parts. Each part = 1 shot.

Vodka – I’m very particular when it comes to vodka, and only ever have Grey Goose and Tito’s in my house. You can use your favorite vodka, but I wouldn’t use flavored vodka, or it will change the flavor of the entire drink

Rum – I’ve seen recipes call for light rum, but I love Captain Morgan and always have it on hand. It’s a dark, spiced rum, and adds a wonderful depth of flavor to the drink

Orange liqueur – I use Triple Sec because I always have it in the house. If you prefer, you can use Grand Marnier or your favorite orange liqueur.

Orange juice and pineapple juice – I’m not a fan of pineapple juice on its own, because it’s too tart. So I use Orange/Pineapple/Banana Juice. The banana flavor tones down the sweetness of the orange and pineapple juices. Orange/pineapple juice is a good substitute and will have more of a tart bite.

Garnish – Lime slices and Maraschino Cherries are what I use most often, but I’ve also added orange slices when I have them.

close up shot of one cocktail in a short glass, garnished with cherries and lime with lime wedges on the side
EASY INSTRUCTIONS

For a strong drink, I use a 12oz glass. For a more fruity drink, I use a 16oz glass.

Add ice to a glass.

Pour in one shot each of vodka, rum, and orange liqueur.

Fill the glass with juice

Stir, garnish with lime slices and Maraschino cherries and serve

MAKING AND SERVING THE BLACK EYED SUSAN

When serving for a crowd, let your guests make their own Black Eyed Susans. They can adjust the strength and proportions to their liking, and it doesn’t get watered down from the ice.

The Black Eyed Susan is definitely NOT just a drink for Preakness! With the light and fruity flavor, it’s perfect to enjoy all summer long.

overhead shot of 2 Black Eyed Susans with 2 spoon in the middle with cherries and lime wedges on the side
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close up shot of finished cocktail garnished with cherries and limes, with lime wedges on the side

Black Eyed Susan Cocktail

Yield: 1 Drink
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes

The Black Eyed Susan Cocktail is the official drink of the Preakness Stakes, the 2nd leg of the Triple Crown. With a wonderful mix of fruit juice, rum and vodka, you'll be making these all year long!

Ingredients

SEE NOTES FOR INGREDIENT RECOMMENDATIONS

Instructions

  1. Add ice to a glass. For a strong drink, I use a 12oz glass. For a more fruity drink, I use a 16oz glass
  2. Add rum, vodka, and triple sec. Add enough juice to fill the glass. 
  3. Use a cocktail stirrer to mix. Garnish with lime slices and cherries

Notes

I recommend letting guests make their own drinks, so they can adjust the strength to their preference.

THIS RECIPE IS IN PARTS. 1 part = 1 shot. For a 12oz glass, this drink will be very strong. If you use a 16oz glass, the drink will be a little more fruity, but still fabulous.

VODKA - You can use your favorite vodka, but I wouldn’t use flavored vodka, or it will change the flavor of the entire drink

RUM - I prefer to use Captain Morgan because I love the taste of the spiced rum. If you prefer light rum, use it.

ORANGE LIQUEUR - You can use Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, or whatever you have on hand.

JUICE - plain pineapple juice is too tart for my tastes, so I use an orange/pineapple/banana blend. I've also used an orange/pineapple blend and it works well.

I do not have a cocktail shaker or mesh strainer, so I make the drink in the glass. However, if you do have a shaker/strainer, then make the drink in the shaker and pour over ice

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
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