Black Eyed Susan Cocktail

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The official drink of The Preakness, the Black Eyed Susan is a mixture of vodka and bourbon with sweetness from fresh squeezed orange juice and a tang from sour mix.

Tall glass with orange drink in it topped off with a cherry, orange slice, and black straw, sitting on a red placemat with a blue background.

I’m not a native of Maryland.  I’m an implant.   I grew up in Pittsburgh and lived there until I turned 22.  In fact, I signed the lease on my apartment in Maryland on my twenty-second birthday.  We won’t talk about how old I am now but I’ve been living in this state ever since.

I was never really into horse racing before I moved here.  The first time I watched the Kentucky Derby with my then boyfriend and current husband I looked at him in disbelief and said, “That’s it?”  I felt like there was a lot of hype for a few minute race.

Quickly I realized that in Maryland the most important race is The Preakness because it’s held in Baltimore.   My husband and I began watching it every year as something fun to do.  While I always knew the Mint Julep was the official drink of the Derby I just recently realized that the Black Eyed Susan, our state flower, is the official drink of The Preakness.

Pin Image: Text Overlay, Tall glass of orange liquid with a cherry and an orange slice garnis and a black straw on a pink and blue background.

I had everything I needed for the drink except fresh squeezed orange juice so I waited until market day and grabbed a few juicy oranges with my order.  Of course once I had everything I couldn’t find my hand juicer so I ended up using a spoon to press the juice out of the orange.

I like how simple this drink is.  It’s really just 4 ingredients plus garnish but it’s really bright and vibrant.  I mixed together the fresh orange juice, vodka, bourbon, and sour mix in a tall glass.  Then I filled the glass with ice and gave it a stir.

If you find the drink is too strong for you then you can add a splash of bubbly water or lemon lime soda.  Then garnish the drink with a cherry and an orange wedge.   It’s such a pretty drink and it packs quite a punch!

Since it’s called a Black Eyed Susan I put a black straw in to represent the middle of the flower but it isn’t needed. It’s just a fun little addition.  

So the next time you are watching The Preakness make sure you make yourself this cocktail to drink!

Black Eyed Susan Cocktail

Yield: serves 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

A sweet and tart cocktail that packs a punch and is the official drink of The Preakness.


  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. bourbon
  • 2 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 2 oz. sour mix
  • 1 oz. bubbly water or lemon lime soda (optional)
  • 1 cherry and 1 orange slice for garnish


  1. Combine the vodka, bourbon, orange juice, and sour mix in a tall glass. Mix well.
  2. Fill the glass with ice, give it a swirl, and top with bubbly water or soda if desired.
  3. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice.


Recipe from Mom 4 Real

Black Eyed Susan: Tall glass with orange drink in it topped off with a cherry, orange slice, and black straw, sitting on a red placemat with a blue background.

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  1. This is perfect for summer! And even better that it doesn’t call for any specialty ingredients. I think I have everything to make this, too.

  2. I laughed out loud at this between the “is that it?” and not being able to find your juice reamer (been there done that more times than I can count).

    The drink certainly looks refreshing and I could probably polish one off in the length of time for the race to finish. haha!

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