Official Drink of the Preakness: The Black-Eyed Susan

It’s a beloved race-day tradition here at Horse Nation to help our readers stay “well-hydrated.” Today, we show you how to make a “black-eyed Susan.”

Roses are to the Kentucky Derby…


what the black-eyed Susans are to the Preakness.


Black-eyed Susans were declared the state flower of Maryland in 1918, as the flower usually has 13 petals, which is taken to symbolize the 13 original colonies. The flower’s colors, black and yellow, are also represented in the state flag.

It is tradition to drape a blanket of the flowers over the winning Preakness horse. Fun fact: The blanket isn’t actually made of Black-Eyed Susans but of Viking Daisies, as Black-Eyed Daisies aren’t in bloom until the end of May or June.

The black-eyed Susan cocktail dates back to 1973, when the special drink was concocted to fill commemorative Preakness glasses. The original recipe involved orange juice, vodka, rum and Triple Sec, served over ice and garnished with a wedge of lime.

Over the years, the ingredients have varied to feature sponsor liquors. Variations have included rum, bourbon, triple sec and a number of different juices. This year’s concoction incorporates sponsors Finlandia and St-Germain:


Go with the official recipe if you like–here’s the link–but if you don’t feel like getting that fancy (“Let me just run out to the corner supermarket and pick up some Lemongrass & Blackberry simple syrup… not”), this one from Southern Living seems a lot more doable.


  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 3 tablespoons vodka
  • 3 tablespoons light rum
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
  • Crushed ice
  • Garnishes: lime slices, fresh cherries $


  1. 1. Stir together first 5 ingredients. Fill 2 (12-oz.) glasses with crushed ice. Pour orange juice mixture over ice. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.
  2. Note: For testing purposes only, we used Grand Marnier orange liqueur.



Go Riding.

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