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November 6, 2017

Dear Miss Monday – The Case of the Dusty Drink

By Miss Monday

Dear Miss Monday,

I just got married and all of our wedding gifts have been so beautiful and sweet. But one gift has been causing some dispute in our home. We were sent a beautiful decanter for our brand new bar cart. I keep telling my new husband to fill it with his favorite bourbon, but he disagrees that it’s supposed to hold liquor all the time. My research on the subject comes from watching Mad Men and their office bars and constant daytime cocktails. His opinion comes from a friend of ours who he says always has “dusty tasting drinks.” So can you settle this? Is it classiest to keep the decanter filled or wait until we’re drinking?

Bartending Bride

Dear Mrs. Bride,

No one wants to raise a dusty drink in celebration to newly vowed nuptials! But decanting your booze may or may not be the culprit of off-tasting spirits


To decant or not to decant. That is the real question.

Decanters were originally used to get your booze out of the barrel and back to your home (or get your wine sans sentiment). But because spirits are a finished product by the time they reach you in the bottle there is not necessarily an advantage or disadvantage to keeping that fine aged whiskey corked OR decanted. I’ve seen it said that a 15-year-old scotch will always be a 15-year-old scotch. No matter how long you wait to open it.

However, not all decanters are created equal. Which could crack The Case of the Dusty Drink. There are two factors that might contribute to a dismally decanted spirit. The stopper and the scrub.


First of all, the stopper. Run, don’t walk, past those decanters you see at your local Goodwill with a crumbling cork or rubber lip that doesn’t look so hot. You’ll end up with the equivalent of a drink you made last week and set on your coffee table. What you’re looking for is a heavy glass stopper. And although those sparkly lead crystal beauties are tempting, probably best to avoid them. The lead could, over time, leach into those booze. The only thing worse than dusty drinks? Lead poisoning.

Secondly, the scrub. If you’re buying second hand, clean that sucker. Good. Fill it with hot water and denture tablets. Yes, denture tablets. Then give ‘er a good scrub with a bottle brush and rinse. Make sure you got way down in those little corners where those old boozy boogers like to hide. If you can’t get it clean as a whistle after some serious elbow grease? Ditch it.

All that being said, what to do with a brand-spanking new decanter? You, and your newly minted husband, will be happy to hear that you’re all clear (dust flavor-wise) to decant away!

But maybe meet him half-way and decant only a bit of the bottle and store the rest away in a cool dark place? That’ll keep your booze fresh, keep that bar cart well appointed and solve the Case of the Dusty Drink. Now, let’s celebrate! Shake up a Corpse Reviver or a Bee’s Knees!

For the Love of Vintage,
Miss Monday

Have a question you’d like to ask Miss Monday? Send it to dearmissmonday@gmail.com or tag it on Instagram with #DearMissMonday!

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8 Responses to Dear Miss Monday – The Case of the Dusty Drink

  1. MidModMichelle Reply

    November 6, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    I love decanters, they seem so posh to me. 🙂

    • Miss Monday Reply

      November 8, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      I know, right? They’re positively classy. And I love the sound it makes when you place the glass stopper in the bottle. Swoon!

  2. Arleen Hillyer Reply

    November 7, 2017 at 7:06 am

    Great tip with the denture tabs! I will have to try that with some smelly old decanted I have in my collection. Glad I read this BEFORE I opted to put my booze in them!

    • Miss Monday Reply

      November 8, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      YES! I’m so happy you saw this before you murdered good booze. Happy scrubbing!

  3. RetroRuth Reply

    November 7, 2017 at 9:35 am

    This is so perfect! I was just trying to decide on vintage vs new decanters, so this helps out a lot!

    • Miss Monday Reply

      November 8, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      Wonderful. I’m always happy to help keep those cocktails fresh. 🙂

  4. Sara In AZ Reply

    November 7, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Great idea to decant half and leave half in the bottle….now I just need to find the perfect bar cart!

    • Miss Monday Reply

      November 8, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      Oh my goodness… You and me both! We have our decenturs on an old train trunk my husband’s mother gave us. But I am always on the look out for the perfect cart.

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