Recipe courtesy of Erick Castro

Apple-Bottomed Susan

The Preakness isn't called "The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans" for nothing. It's the state flower of race host, Maryland. Nirvino located this remarkable variation on the Black-Eyed Susan cocktail, created by Erick Castro, which derives its magic from colonial inspiration. This is a cocktail variation on the Black-Eyed Susan I created for the Preakness. The Black-Eyed Susan is a great cocktail from American race track history but I always felt the vodka lacked the depth to truly take this drink to the next level. This cocktail is a symbol of Maryland, home of the Preakness and one of the original American colonies. I thought it best to utilize Apple Brandy, a spirit that has a rich history in the colonies, dating back hundreds of years before vodka reached American shores. The result is a much more layered and nuanced cocktail that is still every bit as refreshing as the Black-Eyed Susan. The Apple-Bottomed Susan is a great beverage to enjoy while spending a day at the track. Enjoy!
  • Yield: 1 cocktail
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1 ounce Calvados or Applejack Apple Brandy

3/4 ounce Flor de Cana 8 Year Dark Rum

1/2 ounce Cointreau

1/2 ounce pineapple juice

1/2 ounce orange juice

1/2 ounce simple syrup (optional)

Lemon wheel and cherry, for garnish


  1. Combine contents into an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 10 to 20 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Garnish with lemon wheel and cherry.