Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or catching up with friends over cocktails, it’s always fun to whip up a new-to-you beverage. This summer, while you’re swaying on your porch swing or capping off a day at the beach, try mixing up a black-eyed Susan drink.
This Southern beverage is bursting with fruity flavor and vibrant color — and it packs a punch! (The fun, boozy kind, not the type that will leave you with an actual black eye.)
While recipes vary slightly, a black-eyed Susan uses two types of fruit juices, like pineapple and orange, orange liqueur and two kinds of liquor. It can be garnished with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry to take its color to the next level. This bright, sweet cocktail is basically like spiked liquid sunshine.
A Party In A Glass
The black-eyed Susan drink is titled after a yellow flower by the same name. The black-eyed Susan is also Maryland’s state flower and it’s famously used in the celebratory blankets that are draped over the winning horse at the Preakness Stakes. (This also explains why the cocktail’s been nicknamed the official drink of the Preakness Stakes, similar to the Kentucky Derby’s mint julep.)
To craft two glasses of a well-balanced black-eyed Susan drink, try mixing together the following:
3/4 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup of pineapple juice
1 shot of vodka
1 shot of light rum
1/2 shot of orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau
A handful of ice
If you have access to a juicer, fresh-squeezed juice would take this drink up a notch, but store-bought juices will still be divine. Top it off with ice, ideally crushed. (To make crushed ice, place your ice cubes in a sealable freezer bag and mash them with a rolling in.) Plop an orange slice and maraschino cherry on top to garnish.
Just be mindful that this drink can be deceptively intoxicating because you really only taste the juice. On hot summer days, you could down several pretty easily, so go slowly and remember to have a glass of water in between buzzy libations.
Make It Your Own
You can customize the black-eyed Susan drink by adding more fruit juice or topping it with sparkling water. Some recipes call for bourbon or rye whiskey, which you can swap in for rum or vodka. (Substitutions are great for those who don’t always have a stocked liquor cabinet.)
Even the Visit Baltimore website has its own spin on the Maryland-centric beverage, which uses orange juice, bourbon, peach schnapps, vodka and sour mix. And if you don’t have oranges and cherries on hand, opt for a lime wedge, sprig of mint or pineapple wedge.
What’s more, you don’t even need the alcohol. The black-eyed Susan drink makes a great mocktail for adults and kids alike. Just swap the booze for seltzer.
To please a crowd, fill a big pitcher with the celebratory black-eyed Susan drink. The fruity garnishes really up the wow factor. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a new drink that’s perfect for sipping on a balmy evening. It will get you into the spirit of summer — quite literally!
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for additional stories.