The Black-Eyed Susan

Black eyed susan cocktail

The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
695 Calories
5g Fat
109g Carbs
12g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 695
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 974mg 42%
Total Carbohydrate 109g 40%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 12g
Calcium 255mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Each of the Triple Crown races has its own official drink. The Kentucky Derby is always accompanied by a classic Mint Julep, and the official drink of the Preakness Stakes is the Black-Eyed Susan.

While the name of the drink doesn't change, there have been a few "official" recipes over the years. Vodka and orange juice are always the focus and sometimes there's a little whiskey or rum tossed into the mix. One thing never changes: it's a great drink to enjoy while watching horse races in the middle of May.

The latest Black-Eyed Susan cocktail features vodka and bourbon mixed with peach schnapps, orange juice, and sour mix. It's a very nice fruity mix that is enjoyable any day of the year.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for black eyed susan
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour all of the ingredients.

    Cocktail shaker with ice
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  3. Shake well

    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  4. Strain over crushed ice into a tall glass.

    Strain over crushed ice
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  5. Garnish with an orange and cherry.

    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  6. Serve and enjoy!

    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel


  • The recipe's measurements create a tall, 7-ounce drink that is very refreshing. You can, however, make it taller or shorter if you like. You might find it best to keep the liquors at the recommended pours, but make adjustments to the sour mix first, then the orange juice.
  • Sour mix is simply a citrus-flavored simple syrup and it's easy to make at home. In fact, a homemade sour mix is better than store-bought options because you can adjust the sweet and sour flavors to suit your taste perfectly.

Recipe Variations

  • The original Black-Eyed Susan cocktail called for 1 ounce each of vodka and rum, 3/4 ounce of orange liqueur, and 1 1/2 ounces each of orange juice and pineapple juice. Garnish it with an orange wheel, pineapple cube, and cherry.
  • Other Black-Eyed Susan recipes skip the peach schnapps while some vary the juice ratios.

How Strong Is a Black-Eyed Susan?

With a higher volume of nonalcoholic mixers than liquor, the Black-Eyed Susan is a relatively mild cocktail. All those fruits tame the alcohol content down to a pleasant 15 percent ABV (30 proof), which is right in line with most tall mixed drinks. It's nice and refreshing and just a little stronger than the average glass of wine.

Why So Many Black-Eyed Susans?

The drinks of the Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes have changed quite a few times over the years. The Preakness has been more consistent, offering just slight variations of the Black-Eyed Susan since it was introduced in the 1950s. These recipe changes are primarily due to which liquor companies are the official sponsors are for that particular race, so the ingredients feature their own brands.

At the same time, the mint julep is so ingrained in the Kentucky Derby that it will never go away. However, there is a new "official mint julep recipe" released each year with a few minor tweaks, though the original will always remain the favorite.