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 and recipe card were updated May 12, 2019
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. Through most of our 20’s we did the infield at Preakness, and we got as fancy as beer…or the vodka we snuck in, mixed with orange juice. 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!
These were an absolute hit at the party, and we couldn’t make them fast enough!
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
- 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 juice and pineapple juice – I’m not a fan of pineapple juice on its own, because it’s too tart. A few years ago I discovered a delicious Orange/Pineapple/Banana Juice combination. I really like it, and it covers both juices in one. Plus, the banana flavor tones down the sweetness of the orange and pineapple. Orange/pineapple juice is a good substitute and will have more of a tart bite.
- Orange liqueur – some recipes call for Grand Marnier, but I didn’t have any. I did, however, have Triple Sec, so that’s what we used.
- Garnish – I’ve used limes, oranges, and cherries as garnish. I like to use Maraschino Cherries
MAKING AND SERVING THE BLACK EYED SERVING
I recommend letting your guests make their own Black Eyed Susans. That way people can adjust the drink’s strength to their liking. I had originally planned to make a big batch but I changed my mind. I’m glad I did because people were drinking them like it was their job and that first batch would have been gone in no time.
The best part about the Black Eyed Susan? It’s definitely not just a drink for Preakness! With the light and fruity flavor, it’s perfect to enjoy all summer long.
MORE DELICIOUS COCKTAILS
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Black Eyed Susan Cocktail
- 1 part Rum (I use Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum)
- 1 part Vodka (I use Tito's or Grey Goose)
- 1 part Triple Sec or your favorite orange liqueur
- 3-4 parts Orange/Pineapple/Banana juice
- lime slices (for garnish)
- Maraschino cherries (for garnish)
- Fill a glass halfway with ice.
- Add rum, vodka, and triple sec. Add enough juice to fill the glass.
- Use a cocktail stirrer to mix. Garnish with lime slices and cherries