Drink of the Week: The Dandy


I’m back from my one-week off and completing my tasty trio of Dubonnet cocktails. Today, we have a drink that’s only mildly obscure. It’s featured in The Savoy Cocktail Book and a gazillion websites, but still a new one to me.

Modern day bartenders like to futz with the recipe to a greater or lesser extent. Even such classicists as Erik Ellestad will go so far to substitute the Dubonnet out, and the recipe I’m using diverges a little from the Savoy recipe as it uses bourbon instead of rye and allows for triple sec as well as Cointreau, and rather more of it at that.

The Dandy

1 1/2 ounces bourbon (or rye)
1 1/2 ounces Dubonnet
1/4 or 1/2 ounce triple sec (including Cointreau)
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 orange or lemon twist

Combine the liquid ingreidents in a cocktail shaker with lots of ice. Stir very vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Sip. Whatever you feel like contemplating this week as do that sipping is probably just dandy.

This is a drink that I think might be especially good for people who really, really love their Manhattans but want to find a few new ways to change it up. I personally prefer the sweetness of bourbon, but many of the original recipes call for rye, and going with 100 proof Rittenhouse Rye yields the kind of sturdy before-dinner drink that will get you quickly but moderately liquored up without getting in the way of the dinner ahead with a strong boozy flavor many cocktailians will appreciate.

As for bourbons, while 100 proof Evan Williams Bottled in Bond was both sweet and sharp, I was a bit more partial to the more mellow sweetness of 90 proof Maker’s Mark and the less sweet user-friendlyness of 80 proof Four Roses.

Almost as important is your choice of triple sec. Cointreau is considered the class of the field and is specifically called for in a lot of recipes. However, it brings in some additional bitterness that might be too much of a good thing for many of us and, to be honest, I’ve yet to fall in love with the stuff. I had good luck using Bols, still a quality product for my money. I would not turn my nose up at any not-disgusting value priced product in such a small amounts. Hiram Walker and DeKuyper have their place and it might be in the Dandy.


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