How To Prepare A Black-Eyed Susan

16th May 2024
This post was written in collaboration with HOMD Consulting

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It’s that time of the year when we eagerly await to see whether or not we will have another Triple Crown winner that will enter the horse racing history books.

All of the Triple Crown races (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes) share a long history and tradition that makes them even more exciting. All of these races still closely to their roots and traditions, making a truly unique experience for all spectators.

The small things make all the difference. We have the winner of the Kentucky Derby draped in roses, The Kentucky Derby bugler that opens the race, the painting of the winning team colors at the Preakness Stakes, and many more traditions that make each event unique.

Of course, no horse racing event is complete without a signature cocktail. There’s no party without a cocktail right? After we’ve sipped the Mint Julep at the Kentucky Derby, it’s time to prepare for the Black Eyed Susan at the Preakness Stakes.

If you are planning a home party for the second leg of the Triple Crown, you’ll need to prepare the Black Eyed Susan just to get in the theme of the race.

So, creating the ultimate Preakness Stakes party requires good friends, some seafood options and appetizers, a freshly made Black-Eyed Susan, and of course a good betting strategy.

If you want to learn more about Preakness Stakes betting, check out the link below:

In terms of making the cocktail, it’s super easy to prepare and you just have to follow a few simple steps.

Introduction to Black-Eyed Susan

Now that we know that the Black Eyed Susan is the official cocktail of the Preakness Stakes, let’s learn more about its history.  

Why the Black-Eyed Susan?

Well, the name of the cocktail actually has a meaning. Just like the Kentucky Derby which is known as the Run for the Roses just because of the rose blanket that the winner gets, the Preakness stakes also has an official flower and it is the Black-eyed Susan.

This is a flower that Maryland is known for and the Preakness Stakes is also surrounded by the same theme of bright yellow colors, reminiscent of the Black-Eyed Susan flower.  

Ingredients You'll Need

It’s important to mention that there are a couple of different variations of this cocktail. Most of them are made with fresh squeezed orange juice, vodka, and rum, but some versions of the cocktail also have pineapple bases or they introduce bourbon instead of rum.

To prepare a delicious Black-Eyed Susan, gather the following ingredients:

·       1 1/4 oz. vodka

·       3/4 oz. light rum

·       3 oz. orange juice

·       2 oz. pineapple juice

·       2  oz. sour mix

·       1 oz. peach schnapps

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·       Ice cubes

·       Cherry, blackberries, or orange slices for garnish

Step-by-Step Preparation

1.     Prepare Your Glass: Start by chilling a highball glass or a copper mug with ice cubes.

2.     Mix the Ingredients: In a cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, light rum, orange juice or pineapple juice, peach schnapps, and sour mix.

3.     Shake It Up: Add ice to the shaker and shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds to chill and mix the ingredients thoroughly.

4.     Strain Into Glass: Discard the ice from your chilled glass and strain the cocktail mixture into it.

5.     Garnish Creatively: In order to get that look that reminds us of the Black-Eyed Susan flower with the dark dot in the middle, the cocktail is usually garnished with a slice of orange and a cherry on top. If you don’t have cherries you can use blackberry.

6.     Serve and Enjoy: Serve your Black Eyed Susan cocktail immediately and savor the refreshing flavors.

Tips and Variations

You may boost the simple syrup or add a dash of grenadine for a sweeter version. Use ginger ale or lemon-lime soda in place of the vodka and rum to produce a non-alcoholic version. Try varying your garnishes, such as edible flowers or mint leaves, to give your drink a special flair.

Taste and adjust the citrus juices to your desired level of tanginess and sweetness.

Fun Facts About Black Eyed Susans

·       The Black Eyed Susan flower, Rudbeckia hirta, is native to North America and is a member of the sunflower family.

·       The name "Black Eyed Susan" comes from the dark center of the flower, which resembles a black eye.

·       The Black Eyed Susan cocktail has been the official drink of the Preakness Stakes since 1973.

·       Over 140,000 Black-Eyed Susan cocktails are served during the Preakness Stakes weekend.

FAQs About Black-Eyed Susan Cocktails

Q: Can I use different spirits in a Black-Eyed Susan? A: Yes, you can experiment with different spirits like gin or tequila to give your cocktail a unique twist.

Q: What's the best way to ensure a perfectly chilled Black Eyed Susan? A: Use plenty of ice in your shaker and shake vigorously to achieve the ideal temperature and dilution for your cocktail.

Q: Are there any traditional food pairings with Black Eyed Susans? A: While there are no strict rules, Black Eyed Susans pair well with light appetizers like shrimp cocktails or fresh fruit platters.

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Bartender's top tip

Consistency is key in cocktail making. Use a jigger or a measuring tool to ensure that you're adding the correct amounts of each ingredient. This not only helps in balancing the flavors but also in replicating the success of a drink you’ve particularly enjoyed. It’s easy to adjust recipes when you know exactly how much of each ingredient is in the mix.

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