The bets, the hats, and yes, the drinks are all things we love about Preakness weekend. It doesn’t matter if you’re headed to a ritzy soiree or hosting a backyard party—there’s nothing that pairs better with watching the races than a good cocktail. A few local bartenders shared their Preakness-inspired recipes for you to try at home.
Doug Atwell, managing partner at Rye in Fells Point, put a spin on a classic drink.
“After looking through Preakness cocktails from years past, I wanted to offer a drink that was more than just an interpretation of a Black-Eyed Susan,” Atwell said. He said he created his drink, the Viking Daisy, pictured, because he wanted something with fresh and fragrant spring flavors.
“The name comes from the flowers used in the blanket placed around the Preakness winner’s neck,” he said. “Viking daisies are used since Black-Eyed Susans are not yet in season.”
Viking Daisy – Rye, $10 starting May 3
1.5 oz. Edinburgh gin
.75 oz. strawberry syrup*
.75 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
.5 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
1 dash Bar Keep fennel bitters
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.
*Strawberry syrup: In a heatproof container, pour 32 ounces 1:1 simple syrup (granulated sugar dissolved in boiling water) over 4 cups hulled and quartered fresh strawberries. Cover and let steep overnight. Strain and refrigerate. Syrup will last at least two weeks.
The Preakness Cocktail – B&O American Brasserie, $10 during Preakness weekend (Fri. May 17-Sun. May 19)
2 oz. Bourbon whiskey or rye whiskey
1 oz. sweet vermouth
Bénédictine (to taste)
Angostura bitters (to taste)
A lemon twist (apply as garnish before serving)
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Black-Eyed Susan crush – Mt. Washington Tavern, $7 during happy hour from 5-8 p.m. on May 9
1.25 oz. Finlandia Vodka
.25 oz. St. Germain liqueur
2 oz. lemon juice
3 oz. lemongrass simple syrup
3 oz. blackberry simple syrup
6 drops Angostura bitters
Serve over crushed ice. Garnish with one sage leaf.