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Dandy vs. Deshler

Posted by Jenn. Comment (0).

labeled dandy

Every so often I get invited to events by different companies who want to introduce their latest products to various bloggers or social media people. Last week I was at just such an event. It was cocktail based as it was being sponsored by Beam Suntory, the spirit company behind such delicious whiskeys as Hibiki, Knob Creek and 2 Gingers. While at this event, I was lucky enough to taste a Rye that’s relatively new to the whiskey world:¬†Alberta Rye Dark Batch. It’s only been available for about a year and it’s delicious!

Unlike other ryes out there, the Alberta is made from 91% rye, 8% bourbon and 1% sherry. That sherry, combined with a blend of 12 year-old rye and 6 year-old small pot rye, gives this drink a sweet, spiciness that’s not only wonderful neat, but makes it a great choice for cocktails as well. So, I did what any sensible person with a new rye would do, I searched for a classic cocktail to use it in. You know what I found? Not just one recipe, I found two!

Now they may sound like the same drink, but upon creating (and sipping, of course) both cocktails, I can tell you they are pretty different. A lot of people compare these drinks to the Manhattan, and because of the rye and the bitters they are similar.¬† But what makes them different is the addition of the Cointreau, Dubonnet Rouge, an orange peel and a lemon peel. Those substitutions are what separate these cocktails from the Manhattan. But what separates the Dandy from the Deshler is not only the amount of rye used in each cocktail but the bitters. See, Angostura goes into the Dandy, but Peychaud’s goes into the Deshler. You wouldn’t think that would make that big a difference, but after years of making cocktails and using a variety of bitters, a dash of bitters, no matter which kind you choose, can make or break a cocktail. The good news is that both serve the cocktails well, while making each one distinct.

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I prefer the Dandy because it’s slightly sweeter thanks to the equal parts rye and Dubonnet. But I also believe the Angostura, which just happens to be sweeter than the Peychaud’s, adds a sweet bite to even out the spicy flavor of the rye.¬† Don’t get me wrong, both cocktails are delicious, but if I had to choose, I’d pick Harry Craddock’s Dandy.

While I couldn’t find any story about how the Dandy was created or why Craddock chose to add it to his Savoy Cocktail Book, I have a little more information about the Deshler. Also a pre-Prohibition drink, this one can be found in several classic cocktail bibles, the earliest of which is Hugo Ensslin’s 1917 Recipes for Mixed Drinks. He doesn’t talk about how it came about, but it was named after the lightweight hall of fame boxer, Dave Deshler. Why this drink was named after this man, is beyond me. But the fact that it’s a lighter, fruitier take on the Manhattan that also happens to pack a punch probably has something to do with it.

So, no matter which drink you favor – the Manhattan, the Dandy or the Deshler, all are worth a sip; and while the Manhattan may be the popular heavy weight, the Dandy and the Deshler can both definitely hold their own in the cocktail ring.

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Dandy

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 oz. rye whiskey
  • 1-1/2 oz. Dubonnet Rouge
  • 1 teaspoon Cointreau
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 piece of orange peel
  • 1 piece of lemon peel

Directions:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and give a few stirs to combine the flavors.
  2. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve.

 

Deshler

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 oz. rye whiskey
  • 1 oz. Dubonnet Rouge
  • 1 teaspoon Cointreau
  • 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
  • 1 piece of orange peel
  • 1 piece of lemon peel

Directions:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and give a few stirs to combine the flavors.
  2. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve.

 

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. Beam Suntory provided me with the rye for recipe testing. As always, any opinion expressed is my own and is not influenced in any way by the manufacturer/PR firm as I only review products that I have personally tested and endorse.

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