Idle Hour's Randal Etheridge has nothing against the Black-Eyed Susan. He's never even had one. But its simple makeup leaves something to be desired, he says. It's not that the cocktail should have a grocery list of ingredients, but those it has should be surprising. For his recipe, he vetoed whiskey, for instance. "Pikesville Rye seemed appropriate," he says. The rest of the recipe has actually the fewest ingredients of the bunch, just four basic components. While he was creating it, he says he kept in mind the race's roots, and also that the drink would be had in warm weather. The Pikesville Palomino, named for its butterscotch color, is also the lightest cocktail of the five. And while it's locally inspired, it bears several trademarks of the bar not just Pikesville Rye, but Chartreuse, a liqueur they're famous for serving. To make his Pikesville Palomino, Etheridge first mixes the Chartreuse and rye. He then adds a splash of pineapple juice and lemon juice, which is what give the drink its lightness. As an afterthought, he fills the glass with club soda. "It goes down really easily," he says. "It would be easy to drink a bunch of these while watching the ponies." Cost: $6 Idle Hour is at 201 E. Fort Ave. Call 410-468-0357.
Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun