Black-Eyed Susan Cocktail from The Preakness

Second in the Triple Crown, the Preakness features the Black-Eyed Susan Cocktail which combines pineapple, orange, and lime juices with vodka and St. Germain Elderflower liqueur. It’s fantastic and a great drink all summer long!

The Black-Eyed Susan Cocktail Served in a Tall Glass with Orange and Cherry Garnish

Everyone associates Mint Juleps with the Kentucky Derby, but with the Preakness race coming up this weekend I thought it fitting to share ‘the signature cocktail‘ for these stakes too, the Black-Eyed Susan Cocktail.

The Black-Eyed Susan is billed as the “Official Drink of the Preakness”. It does seem that the term ‘official’ is pretty loose; this is not like the mint julep in that some components are absolutely necessary and have remained constant throughout the years. With the Black-Eyed Susan it seems that over time the recipe has gone through a fair share of revisions.

The Baltimore Sun’s Rob Kasper has said, “like a racehorse that keeps changing jockeys, the Susan has changed recipes.” I found variations that included orange liqueur, rum, bourbon and a variety of juices. So I stuck with the version on the official Preakness website but this lively cocktail is certainly open to interpretation.

It doesn’t seem to matter to attendees; the number of cocktails sold a few years back at Pimlico indicate approximately 25,000 were sold on the Friday and Saturday of the race. That’s a whole lot of cocktails!

My favorite Jigger

I have to share this cool little adjustable jigger that was sent to me by the folks at Metrokane, best known for the Rabbit, their Wine Bottle Opener. This has been the answer to my prayers. I have a variety of jiggers and yet? NONE of them have accurate measures. They are all in the range of 1, 1.5 or 2 ounces but all a bit off.

This little beauty has a slider that allows an easy way to measure any variety of shots for the cocktails I make; it has been a veritable Godsend. I no longer have 3 different jiggers littering my workspace since this arrived. Seriously, I love this thing!

I also received some of their jumbo Chilling Stones; the metal cubes get chilled in the freezer and then used in a cocktail. They are beautiful and practical but more suited for a cocktail like this French Connection than a Black-Eyed Susan; they make a beautiful statement in the most simple of cocktails.

Black Eyed Susan Cocktail Garnished with Orange Slice and Maraschino Cherry
Seriously loved this cocktail. Pineapple, orange and lime juice are combined with St. Germain liqueur and vodka for a thoroughly citrus affair. Finlandia is a Preakness sponsor so the website cites that particular vodka but you can sub in any vodka you prefer.

St. Germain liqueur is a less well known liqueur but becoming more widely available. The company’s website indicates that it is “the world’s first liqueur created in the artisanal French manner from freshly hand-picked elderflower blossoms.”

It has a very distinctive taste that is hard to put a finger on but I’ve always thought it had a bit of a grapefruit edge to it.

I used fresh squeezed juices for the citrus, even the pineapple juice. How do you squeeze a pineapple anyhow? Well I guess I really add pineapple pulp, I cut some slices from a fresh pineapple and then juice it in my blender.

But make it easy for yourself too; I’ve found juice in the refrigerator section of my grocery and that would be fine too.

The Black-Eyed Susan Cocktail - Signature Cocktail for the Preakness Served on a Silver Tray

So refreshing and worth making. Going to the races? You can enjoy one in the $10+ range. Or come on over…I’ll be hosting a party. We gather on Saturday for 15 minutes, a cocktail and a race. Quickest party in the world but luckily a cocktail that would be good any time of day. Now off to the races!!

The Belmont Jewel - Signature Cocktail for the Belmont Stake
The Belmont Jewel

Want to prepare ahead for the next big race in the Triple Crown after the Preakness? The Belmont will be held on June 11 this year (2022). They also have a signature cocktail called the Belmont Jewel and it’s one of my favorites!

PIN IT! ‘Black-Eyed Susan Cocktail’



The Black-Eyed Susan Cocktail - Signature Cocktail for the Preakness Served on a Silver Tray
Print Recipe
4 from 3 votes

The Preakness 'Black-Eyed Susan' Cocktail

The signature cocktail for the 2nd race in the Triple Crown, this Black-Eyed Susan Cocktail was made just for The Preakness.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Vodka
Calories: 175kcal

Ingredients

  • 1.25 oz vodka
  • ½ oz St. Germain liqueur
  • 2 oz Pineapple juice
  • ¼ oz lime juice
  • ¾ oz Orange juice

For Garnish:

  • Orange slices
  • Maraschino cherries

Instructions

  • Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Shake vigorously.
  • Strain over ice into a Collins glass.
  • Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.

Nutrition

Serving: 18 | Calories: 175kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 49IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

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16 Comments

  1. I first made this for a Preakness party years ago and lost the recipe; I was SO glad I found you and you saved the day…we’re having a huge party and people expect this cocktail. It’s so refreshing, it’s a favorite all summer long!

    1. Very easy to drink…like a combination of fruit juices with vodka and then something just a bit mysterious from the St. Germain. So perfect.

  2. I had never heard of this drink but being from the city of the Derby I know about the other. I don’t know why that Mint Julep is so popular. I worked at the track 2 years in a row and we sold a gazillion and 1 of those things a day. This drink looks absolutely delicious and I printed it out to try. Thanks for sharing.

    I hope to be back in your area in the next year or two. My ultimate goal is to move back to Colorado but not sure if the Springs, Denver, Manitou Area or where just yet.

    New follower for sure.
    @TrinaO’Neil from
    Walking My Own Path

    1. The Mint Julep is probably popular because it is SO boozy…this drink is anything but, which sure bodes better for a day at the track doesn’t it?

      I’ve personally found that my favorite juleps have some fruit; that addition cuts the bourbon yet tastes great with it and for me that’s a win win.

      I’ve lived in a couple of other states; I never plan to leave Colorado; even with the occasional winter blizzard, it’s got the best summers I’ve ever known. NO humidity…yes, I love that! Thanks for following!

    1. Thanks Lori; it’s really a great cocktail for summer; I know it will see regular rotation here!

  3. I’ve never had this drink! Definitely need to try it sometime — looks so refreshing. I use small measuring cups designed for bakers when I mix drinks — they have every measurement I need. When I mix drinks for a crowd, I use a Magic Beaker — big beaker-shaped measuring cup with all sorts of measurements on it — worth checking out. Anyway, really nice drink. And I’m always a sucker for drink photos with flowers in the background!

    1. Very good…should not be relegated to just one day! I had a great glass measure with ounces and jiggers and cups and even metric. Until I broke it. So I bought what I thought was the same last year and it was just recipes. Oh yeah, I need a glass with recipes on it. Just pitched it! I’ll use a larger measuring cup for a crowd but I still like a jigger for one or two drinks and this one is perfect!

  4. Interesting, your recipe is the exact same recipe listed on the Preakness website. I have St. Germain and will be making these tomorrow!

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