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!
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; numbers 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 lotta cocktails!
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 Manhattan than Black-Eyed Susan so I’ll show them in use another day.
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. I used fresh squeezed juices for the citrus but admit, not for the pineapple juice. How do you squeeze a pineapple anyhow? I found juice in the refrigerator section of my grocery but canned would be fine too.
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 Preakness 'Black-Eyed Susan' Cocktail
- 1.25 oz vodka
- 1/2 oz St. Germain liqueur
- 2 oz Pineapple juice
- 1/4 oz lime juice
- 3/4 oz Orange juice
- Orange slices
- Maraschino cherries
- 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.
I was provided with the Metrokane ‘Rabbit’ Adjustable Jigger but all commentary is my own.
PIN ‘Black-Eyed Susan Cocktail from The Preakness’