Tuesday, May 24, 2022

How To Prepare The Black-Eyed Susan Cocktail?

Horse Races offer much more than the race itself. For instance, every race has different traditions, and dress codes, as well as food and drink that are served. Since the Triple Crown races are right around the corner, it is time to reflect on some of the most iconic cocktails that define all of these races.

In this particular case, we will focus on the Black-Eyer Susan Cocktail which has become the official drink for the Preakness Stakes. This rather delicious drink is the most common for all the people that attend the Preakness Stakes and each the audience consumes thousands of cocktails. It is the ideal cocktail to drink while trying to guess the Preakness Stakes winners.

So, before we jump on how to make the Black-Eyer Susan Cocktail, let’s learn more about the cocktail’s history and how it became the official drink for the Preakness Stakes.

The History Behind the Black-Eyed Susan

The Black-Eyed Susan was first introduced to the Preakness stakes back in 1973 and since then, it became the official drink for the race. The cocktail got its name after the Maryland state flower which is also the official flower that is given to the winner of the race.

The trouble with the Black-Eyed Susan is that the recipe changed several times, and was often depending on what liquor sponsors have lined up for the annual race.

The original Black-Eyed Susan from 1973 was a base of rum and vodka, mixed with orange and pineapple juices. With that said, the details about the origin of the cocktail and where it came from are a bit confusing.

One of the stories from history suggests that the drink was created by the Heublein Co., a Hartford, Conn. – based liquor distributor and specialist in “pre-made” cocktails for home consumers. In this story, the company created the black-eyed Susan but refused to divulge its recipe to Preakness officials, forcing them to come up with their own recipe.

The credit for the Black-Eyed Susan goes to Harry M. Stevens Co., who asked Heublein to help him create a pre-made cocktail mix that can serve thousands of cocktails quickly at the 1973 Preakness Stakes.

With that said, Heublein managed to keep the exact details of the Black-Eyed Susan recipe to itself. Maybe that is why we’ve seen so many Black-Eyed Susan adaptations over the years and not a stone-hard recipe that the organizers stick to.

How to Make the Black-Eyed Susan

Even though the name of the cocktail remained the same for years, the recipe had few “official” versions that might confuse the public. With that said, Vodka and Orange juice have always been the focus of every recipe.

Other versions of the Black-Eyed Susan might include a little whiskey or rum tossed into the mix. Also, some versions of the cocktail also included a secondary pineapple juice.

One thing, however, never changed. The enjoyment from each version of the Black-Eyed Susan while watching the mid-May horse race is incredible.

In today’s article, we will highlight the modern version of the Black-Eyer Susan that includes vodka and bourbon, shaken with orange juice, peach schnapps, and sour mix. It is a great fruity cocktail that is perfect for the summer season.


  • Bourbon whiskey
  • Vodka
  • Peach schnapps
  • Orange Joice
  • Sour Mix
  • Cherry and Orange slice for garnish

How to make it

Once you gather all the ingredients, fill the cocktail shaker with ice and pour the bourbon, vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice, and sour mix. Shake the mixture well and pour it into a tall glass filled with crushed ice.

The last step is to add the orange slice and the cherry for garnish and take a sip.

It is a rather simple cocktail to make that doesn’t require any specific tools or skills, making it perfect for any occasion, not just the Preakness Stakes race.