The Black-Eyed Susan is a symbol that collectively incorporates everything Preakness.
From the state flower of Maryland to the key stakes for the fillies before the Preakness Stakes or the blanket of flowers that will adorn the winner of the second jewel of the Triple Crown. The Black-Eyed Susan is an icon of the Preakness and the official flower of the race.
However, few remember the Black-Eyed Susan as the official drink of the Preakness. Most forget that the Black-Eyed Susan is one of the most refreshing and equally one of the most knockout drinks around.
You may ask why? Unfortunately for us cocktail connoisseurs, the Black-Eyed Susan only makes its return annually, most commonly served at Pimlico Race Course for the two days surrounding the Preakness.
Similar to the Mint Julep, from the first leg of the Triple Crown, the Black-Eyed Susan can be purchased in commemorative glasses literally anywhere at Pimlico on these two days, infield to clubhouse. After the second jewel is won and done, though, the drink won’t resurface until next year’s Preakness. This is a tragedy to the many drink lovers across the horse racing sphere, because the drink is very unique. Almost literally, you may never find anything like it ever again.
The Black-Eyed Susan is a drink unlike any other, partially because of its timely appearances, but more importantly because of its contents. So comes the big question: what is in a Black-Eyed Susan?
The reality is the recipe changes from year to year. In 2012 and 2014 the drink was almost exactly what you would expect - a citrus-colored picture of refreshment in the image of the flower it's named after. Last year's version was a pink-colored cocktail, refreshing but a step away from the norm.
Let's take a look at some of the recent interpretations, starting with this one from 2012:
... and this one from 2013:
That’s the best part of a cocktail though, right? You have the ability to give it whatever twist you like. If you're throwing a party, test them all out and pick your favorite.
At the end of the day, that’s the best part of the Black-Eyed Susan.
You can have a light, refreshing beverage and enjoy an exciting day of racing OR you can make a hard, exciting cocktail that will fully prepare you for the craziness that is the Preakness infield.
So Preakness weekend, whether you are at Pimlico or on the couch, bring some taste to your horse race with a Black-Eyed Susan.
Below is the official recipe for the 2014 Black-Eyed Susan, pictured at the top of the story:
Black-Eyed Susan, the 139th Running
- 1 1/2 oz. Finlandia vodka
- 1/2 oz. St. Germain liqueur
- 2 oz. pineapple juice
- 1/4 oz. lime juice
- 3/4 oz. orange juice
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add all ingredients and shake vigorously. Pour into a high ball glass and garnish with an orange slice.