Here's another one from Amanda's notebook of 'three-ish ingredient drinks'.
The Preakness is a Manhattan riff from the 1930s which takes the whiskey/vermouth/bitters combination and adds some Benedictine. If you have a deep-seated fondness for the Manhattan and are looking for something similar it's worth a spin. The Preakness still hits the notes for which the Manhattan is revered - rich, boozy and full of flavor. Pulling the vermouth back a touch enables Benedictine to come in and play off the contributions made by the vermouth without wrecking the balance. The result falls somewhere between a Manhattan and PDT's version of the De la Lousiane.
Until putting this post together I thought the Preakness was the signature drink of the Preakness horse race in Baltimore. The Kentucky Derby has the Mint Julep so why not. Well, it turns out the Preakness (horse race) does have its own drink - The Black Eyed Susan. The drink that goes by that name combines vodka, St. Germain, lime, pineapple and orange juice (though in the past rum, whiskey and triple sec have stood in for some of those ingredients).
The history of the Preakness drink isn't completely removed from the race however. It was the winning submission to a contest associated with the first annual Preakness Ball, an event held on the eve of the race. Eventually the Black Eyed Susan would replace the Preakness. But it stood for a while. And we're all better for it.
Preakness - George, Emerson Hotel, Baltimore, 1936
2 oz Rye
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth*
1/4 oz Benedictine
2 dashes Angostura
Garnish - Lemon Peel
Stir, Strain, Up
*As is the case with most drinks that have been around for a while exact amounts vary from source to source. A lot of recipes have 1 1/2 oz for the rye. Sometimes I go 1/2 oz on the vermouth, other times 3/4. Brands, proof, preference and mood are the usual factors involved when deciding how that ratio ends up.