As I mentioned in the unaged rye whiskey cocktail post, I’ve been enjoying a lot of rye whiskey cocktails lately. In my research for new to me classic rye whiskey cocktails, I came across one that I just couldn’t resist… The Preakness Cocktail. Basically, it’s a variation of the Manhattan with the addition of Bénédictine. One sip of this drink and I was hooked.
According to the app, Bartender’s Choice, created by some of the bartenders at NYC’s Milk & Honey, the Preakness Cocktail was first published in the 1939 book, Just Cocktails, by W.C. Whitfield. I attempted to do some of my own Internet research on the drink, but kept coming up with the Preakness horse race and a recipe for the Black-Eyed Susan. So, I can’t tell you much about the history of this particular drink. But I can say that it’s damn good.
The Preakness Cocktail could be described as a cross between the Manhattan and the Bobby Burns Cocktail. The Bénédictine herbal liqueur adds something very special to the drink and cannot be substituted for anything else. As for the other ingredients, I used Templeton Rye Whiskey and two different types of sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica and Dolin Rouge). Templeton goes back to the days of Prohibition and is said to have been nicknamed “The Good Stuff.” It’s also said to have been Al Capone’s whiskey of choice.
I loved the combination of these ingredients. The Carpano version was a bit heavier, while the Dolin had a lighter feel to it. Both were enjoyable. I did not try the drink with other types of rye. Perhaps that will happen next time I have this drink. And yes, there will totally be a next time.
- 2 ounces Templeton Rye Whiskey
- ¾ ounce sweet vermouth
- ¼ ounce Bénédictine
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Orange peel for garnish
- Add all ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice.
- Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with an orange peel, after gently peeling back the sides of the peel to express the oils over the drink.
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Note… I was sent a bottle of Templeton rye whiskey to use in various cocktails. All thoughts, opinions and pictures are my own.