Preakness Stakes Official Cocktail and Recipe: Black Eyed Susan

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It's Preakness Time, Hon! The second jewel in horse racing's Triple Crown, the 139th Annual Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course is this Saturday, May 17. Thirsty? I have prepared for you the official Black Eyed Susan recipe, named after Maryland’s official state flower, the Black-Eyed Susan. But first a few facts on the famous Baltimore race.


PREAKNESS STAKES is the 2nd stop of the Triple Crown, following the Kentucky Derby and precedes the Belmont Stakes. Baltimoreans have seen the most famous horses in history at Pimlico, including Man o' War, Seabiscuit, War Admiral, Secretariat and Cigar. Known as "Old Hilltop," Pimlico's history dates back to when Maryland Gov. Oden Bowie attended a dinner party in 1870 in Saratoga, N.Y. When it was suggested that a stake race be held that year to be called the Dinner Party Stakes, Bowie requested that the race be held in Baltimore and suggested a purse of $15,000, a large sum of money back then! The first Dinner Party Stakes, later called “The Dixie,” was won by Preakness, leading to the creation of the Preakness Stakes in 1873 with a crowd of 12,000 watching.


The Taste of Preakness, the official drink at Pimlico Race Track calls for whiskey, (many prefer a lighter variation using rum.) Whatever recipe you use, make sure it's not too sweet, especially if it's a hot day (you never know about Preakness - sometimes it's warm, other times you need a heavy sweater). As always, if you're hosting a Preakness party, be sure not to make it too strong, as you want your guests to have a good, yet responsible, time. INFIELD-FEST, CORP TENT VILLAGE, too fancy and cramped, understood.

Grab your friends and watch at home. Sip carefully, this cocktail is quite potent!


Here is the special official PREAKNESS Black-Eyed Susan Recipe:

1 1/2 cups vodka

1 1/2 cups light rum or bourbon or whiskey

3/4 cups Triple Sec or St. Germain

4 cups orange juice 4 cups pineapple juice

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Mix all ingredients and chill.

Pour into punch bowl and add ice.

Garnish with orange slice and cherry.

Makes 10 large drinks.


Patti Neumann is Publisher/Founder of and an award-winning columnist and blogger on food, wine.

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