Preakness cocktail with an orange twist garnish

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

The Preakness is one of the many variations on the Manhattan. It is named after the Preakness Stakes, an American horse race, though it is not the official cocktail of the race, that honor goes to the Black-Eyed Susan. The drink originates from a competition for the official cocktail of the first Preakness Ball, a lavish affair held in Baltimore in 1936. Dave Wondrich tells us that the contest was won by George Backert, the head bartender at Baltimore's Emerson Hotel with a drink called the Preakness Cocktail.

The original recipe calls for ½ teaspoon of Bénédictine which hardly seems enough to differentiate it from the Manhattan. The recipe above follows Death & Co. which adds a little more Bénédictine. Also the original calls for straight rye but we rather like the suggestion of Old Grand-Dad 114 bourbon at 57% alcohol by volume, again from Death & Co. though Elijah Craig works well also.