Big Batch Black Eyed Susans


The Black Eyed Susan is a lovely little flower with golden petals and a black center, somewhat reminiscent of a miniature sunflower.  It happens to be the state flower of Maryland, recalling the black and yellow portion of the state flag, which represents the Calvert family’s heraldry.  For a brief Maryland history lesson, George Calvert, the First Lord Baltimore, established the Maryland colony as a safe haven for English Catholics.  When designing the Maryland flag, the field was divided into quarters, two of which contained the black and yellow pattern, previously mentioned, to honor the Calvert’s, and two with a red and white cross pattern taken from the heraldry of his mother’s family, the Crossland’s.

The Preakness Stakes, most commonly known as the second leg of the Triple Crown races, takes place annually at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland, on the 3rd Saturday of May.  The winning horse is always draped in a blanket of Black Eyed Susans, so it’s only fitting that the race’s signature drink bares this monicker.  As cocktails go, this one is fruity, sweet, and goes down easily.  While the Black Eyed Susan is specifically linked to this horse race, it’s a perfect libation for spring and summer picnics, or served with brunch.  Why limit it to only one weekend of the year?


1 cup vodka

1 cup light rum

1/2 cup Tripel Sec

2 cups pineapple juice

2 cups orange juice

8 thinly sliced lime rounds, for garnish

8 maraschino cherries, for garnish


Pour the vodka, rum, Tripel Sec, pineapple juice, and orange juice into a large pitcher.  Stir to combine.  Pour the mixture into Collins or rocks glasses filled with crushed ice and garnish with lime rounds and cherries.

Serves 8


🐎 Fun Fact: The signature race held the Friday evening of Preakness Stakes weekend at Pimlico Racecourse is aptly named “The Black Eyed Susan.”

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