We’ve been asked to participate in Maker’s Mark #TrifectaChallenge (pronounce that with stadium voice, if you will ;)) to celebrate the premier horse races here in the States. If you ever happen to watch them, those are some magnificent animals. We liked the idea, so thought, “what the hey”.They kindly supplied us with a free bottle of Maker’s Mark (see our Samples Policy to see what it means that we’re even participating 🙂 ) to play around with.
The first challenge is to re-envision the Black-Eyed Susan, the signature cocktail of The Preakness. We did a little research, and found that this cocktail has no historical provenance, being of more recent creation. The recipe varied pretty widely too, with almost all variants having orange juice, and a fair number having pineapple juice. For spirits, it was usually either just vodka, or a combination of vodka and rum or whiskey and rum. Additions varied from orange liqueurs to St. Germain to various bitters. For our offering, we decided to stick with the orange and pineapple flavors, honor the tradition of multiple base spirits, and liven things up with a few different bitters choices.
Booze Nerd’s Black-Eyed Susan
- 2 oz Maker’s Mark
- 1 1/2 oz tangerine juice
- 2/3 oz pineapple syrup (*) (This makes a pretty sweet drink that stands up to the dilution, use a little less if you prefer a drier drink)
- 1/2 oz fruity white rum (We used the Pritchard’s Crystal)
- 2-3 dashes grapefruit bitters (We used the less-concentrated Bitter Housewife, use the lesser amount for more concentrated bitters like Scrappy’s)
- 1 dash lime bitters
Lightly shake with ice. Strain into a glass over rocks. Garnish with brandied cherries.
- 2 parts pineapple juice
- 1 part sugar
Simmer until reduced to half the volume.
- Nose: Toasty vanilla-y oak, pineapple, grapefruit, tangerine.
- Palate: Front is lime peel and tangerine with a little bit of maltiness from the bourbon. Mid-palate is very much toasty oak, yeast, vanilla, and pineapple (kinda like a pineapple upside-down cake). Finish is sweet tropical fruit from the rum along with grapefruit peel.
Quite tasty in our opinions, with some really nice tropical fruit flavors working smoothly with the malty richness of the bourbon. Thanks to Maker’s Mark for the opportunity to play with this particular drink which has seen many incarnations. Here’s to one more.