Black-Eyed Susan: A Cocktail for Maryland

A sure bet whether you’re on- or off-track

Some drinks have history, and some have smart marketing. In 1973, Baltimore caterer Harry Stevens wanted a signature tipple to serve at Pimlico Race Course during the Preakness Stakes, the second race in the Triple Crown. It needed to be pretty, it needed to match the garland of the state flower draped over the winning horse, and for sure it needed to pair well with crab cakes. Fruity and boozy, the Black-Eyed Susan was a dark horse that instantly hit the money. And it’s been a Preakness staple ever since—attendees knock back 140,000 of them with and without crab cakes.


    • 2 oz. sour mix (see separate ingredients)

    • 1 oz. bourbon

    • 1 oz. vodka

    • 1 oz. peach schnapps

    • 2 oz. fresh orange juice

    • ½ orange slice, for garnish

    • 1 cherry, for garnish


    • 1 cup water

    • 1 cup sugar

    • 1 cup fresh lemon juice

    • ¾ cup fresh lime juice


  1. To make sour mix, bring water and sugar to a simmer over medium heat in a small saucepan, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, cool, and stir in lemon juice and lime juice. Put in a jar, cover, and refrigerate.

  2. To mix drink, add all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain over crushed or cracked ice into a tall glass. Garnish with orange slice and cherry.