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The black-eyed Susan recipe: How to make the Preakness cocktail

The black-eyed Susan is the cocktail best associated

The black-eyed Susan is the cocktail best associated with the Preakness. Credit: AP / Matt Rourke

Now that the silver cups for mint juleps have been stored, it’s time for a cocktail to go with Saturday’s Preakness.

The 142nd running of the Preakness will be at Pimlico, the thoroughbred horsetrack in Baltimore. The drink associated with the Preakness is named for the Maryland state flower, the black-eyed Susan.

Traditionally, the winning horse is draped with a floral blanket with the flower’s hues, if not the actual flowers.

What’s in the cocktail frequently changes, whether because of corporate sponsorships or undue creativity.

Some recipes include elderflower liqueur, peach schnapps, sour mix and, for true heretics, crème de menthe. Brandy also has made cameo appearances.

While there are variations on the theme, the general consensus is that it ought to take in vodka, rum, triple sec, and orange and pineapple juices.

The cocktail is comparatively new. It was created in 1973 to mark the centenary of the Preakness. But ’73 is remembered for incomparable greatness on the track more than any booze in a glass.

It was the year of Secretariat.

Here’s a straightforward recipe for the black-eyed Susan, adapted from “The Bartender’s Best Friend” (Wiley, 2010) by Mardee Haidin Regan.

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, build the cocktail.

1 ounce of vodka

1 ounce of a rum

34 ounce of Cointreau

1 12 ounces fresh orange juice

1 12 ounces pineapple juice

Shake, then strain over crushed ice into Collins, or tall, glass.

Add garnishes such as an orange wheel, a pineapple cube, a maraschino cherry and a lime wedge. Squeeze the lime juice into the cocktail.

And after wishing Always Dreaming well, toast Secretariat.

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