Everyone knows the mint julep is the signature drink of the Kentucky Derby. But what do horse-racing fans drink at the other two events in the Triple Crown — The Belmont Stakes and Preakness? We had no clue until Maker’s Mark asked us to join their “Trifecta Challenge” by coming up with a Maker’s-based version of The Black Eyed Susan – a fruity cocktail named for the flowers used in the blanket that traditionally drapes the Preakness winner.
Who could say no to such an invitation? Not us, fans of both Maker’s Mark and creating cocktail recipes. Maker’s sent us a bottle of their famous bourbon and we started brainstorming; it didn’t take long to come up with a drink that reflects us, and our adopted state of Maine, while paying tribute to the original libation.
On May 21, when the Preakness is run at Pimlico in Baltimore, race goers will be sipping (or slinging back) Black Eyed Susans — a potent mix of vodka, rum, orange liqueur, orange and pineapple juices, garnished with lime slices and a maraschino cherry. Our version, The Blue Eyed Susan, combines Maker’s Mark, orange liqueur, orange juice and wild Maine blueberries, with an orange slice and blueberry garnish.
Blueberry and orange is a delicious combination — one that blends perfectly with the bourbon. While no cocktail can really be considered “healthy,” wild blueberries have an impressive nutritional profile; plus, they are synonymous with Maine and available frozen almost everywhere. And yes, I have blue eyes. So there you go.
There’s a fun prize for the creators of the winning cocktail in the Trifecta Challenge — a visit to the Maker’s Mark distillery. To win, we need to collect the most likes and comments on our photo, posted on Maker’s Mark Instagram; we’d love to have yours!
- 1 tablespoon wild blueberries (thawed if frozen)
- 1 1/2 ounces Maker's Mark bourbon
- 1/2 ounce orange liqueur
- Orange juice
- Orange slice and wild blueberry for garnish
Note: Maker’s Mark provided us with a bottle of bourbon for this post without payment. However, the recipe, photography and words are our own.