Black-eyed Susan Horse Racing Drink

Black-eyed Susan drink Getting in the spirit for horse races like the Preakness Stakes is part of the fun of betting on horses. If you really want to create the full Preakness experience at home, you need to learn how to make a Black-Eyed Susan. This is the official drink of the Preakness. It is simple to make and enjoy while you are betting the race from home with an online racebook.

There is no need to make the trip to Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore if you want to enjoy the Preakness. Here’s a look at the history of the Black-Eyed Susan and how you can make this legendary drink that rivals the Mint Julep and Belmont Jewel.

The History of the Black-Eyed Susan

The Preakness Stakes is the second jewel in the Triple Crown, the most prestigious series in horse racing. It follows the Kentucky Derby and is traditionally held on the third Saturday in May each year. Thousands of racing fans flock to Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland where the race is held.

The Kentucky Derby introduced its signature drink, the Mint Julep, in 1938. It was almost 40 years later that the Preakness decided to create its own drink. The Black-Eyed Susan was first served at the Preakness in 1973. That date is significant because 1973 was the year that would see Secretariat complete the Triple Crown in record-setting fashion. Fans were excited about horse racing, and the operators of Pimlico wanted to take advantage of that.


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A flower is what gave the drink it’s name. Today, the winner of the Preakness Stakes is draped with a wreath made of Black-Eyed Susan flowers.

How the Black-Eyed Susan Became Identified with the Preakness Stakes

Unlike the Mint Julep which is served each year at the Kentucky Derby, the Black-Eyed Susan has gone through many changes since it was first introduced by the Harry M. Stevens Co. Many people have often remarked on the taste of the cocktail, leading to changes which are an attempt to make the drink more pleasant.

At one point the drink was made mostly from rum. In another year the drink included cognac, a version that was quickly scrapped because of its expense. Today, the Black-Eyed Susan is most often made with bourbon. Bourbon has itself become associated with horse racing in many ways. A fruity mix is usually added to the mix to give the Black-Eyed Susan a party cocktail flavor. This stands in contrast to the Mint Julep which is mostly a straight bourbon whiskey drink.

Famous brands like Maker’s Mark have sought to put their stamp on the Black-Eyed Susan, but you can find recipes which call for various types of bourbon to be used.

How to Make the Perfect Preakness Stakes Black-Eyed Susan

The fortunate few may be able to attend the Preakness Stakes in person. Most of us will have to be content to enjoy it from home. Here’s everything you need to make your Black-Eyed Susan.

Black-Eyed Susan Ingredients:

  • 1 oz of your favorite bourbon whiskey
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 oz peach schnapps
  • 2 oz orange juice
  • 2 oz sour mix
  • Garnish : orange slice
  • Garnish: cherry

Black-Eyed Susan Preparation:

  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  • Add bourbon, vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice, and sour mix
  • Shake well
  • Strain the drink into a highball glass filled with crushed ice
  • Garnish with orange slice and a cherry

You can feel free to substitute rum for bourbon, but the trend today is to use whiskey. Also, remember to use a glass big enough to hold a 7 oz. drink.

The Best Way to Enjoy Your Black-Eyed Susan at Home

The best way to enjoy your Black-Eyed Susan in the comfort of your home is to create an account with an online racebook. That way you can make bets on the Preakness Stakes without leaving your living room. Just access the online racebook with your computer, phone, or tablet.

No one says that you need to wait for the Preakness Stakes to roll around if you want to bet the races and drink a Black-Eyed Susan. With an online racebook you can bet year-round, personally AMWAGER is the one I go to.

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