I kicked off tonight with another experiment. I needed to find at least one thing I could put the Marie Brizard vanilla liqueur I somewhat foolishly bought to good use in. So I thought, vanilla… brandy… egg. Why not try, say, a Brandy Royal Fizz with vanilla liqueur as the sweetener? Throw some Benedictine in there for some interest as well. And try it out with the cheap Australian brandy I have, which I wouldn’t use for something like a Sidecar but makes a very delicious Horse’s Neck.
I suppose this would be a good place to talk about using eggs in cocktails. Whenever you have egg, white or otherwise, in a drink, you’ll want to shake it hard for a while before adding any ice to get it mixed well and properly aerated with a good foamy head. This shake without ice is termed the “dry shake” or “mime shake”; the latter term, which I picked up on eGullet from Toby Maloney from The Violet Hour, makes far more sense to me as the shake is entirely liquid but comparatively silent. Most people also tend to shake for a prolonged period with ice, especially with the Ramos Gin Fizz which also contains cream. Regarding hygiene issues with raw eggs, suffice to say there is a very low chance of getting ill, at least in Australia and the USA. A 2002 study by the US Department of Agriculture showed that only about 1 in 30,000 eggs was contaminated with Salmonella. Furthermore, the alcohol and citrus juices in many recipes are thought to have antibacterial effects. If concerned, try to minimise contact between the contents and the egg shell, where Salmonella is most likely to be present. I’ll leave the googling up to you for further reading.
1 1/2 Brandy (St. Agnes VSOP)
3/4 Marie Brizard Vanilla Madagascar
1/2 Lemon Juice
1/2tsp Brown sugar
Dash Angostura Bitters
~1 1/3 Soda Water
Freshly grated nutmeg
Mime shake, then shake with ice all ingredients except soda water and nutmeg. Strain into a Collins glass, top with soda water and grate nutmeg on foam.
I was surprised with how well this turned out. It’s not divine, but it’s quite palatable, especially given I was half expecting it to completely flop. It’s kind of like a lighter and citrusy brandy flip. The vanilla flavour isn’t pronounced- the flavour of this liqueur tends to get drowned in mixes I find. The nutmeg is essential, and makes the drinking experience here a lot more exciting. However, despite the soda and lemon, the drink is still very rich, and by the bottom of the glass I was getting a bit sick of the texture and the flavour, which was revealing some unpleasant bitterness. I might make it again, though I’m not sure exactly what I’d change to improve it.
1 1/2 Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 Lemon juice
<2 Soda Water
Build in an ice filled Collins glass. Stir, garnish with orange slice and cherry (this is the standard, but I’m sure you could sub a lemon slice in a pinch)
This was for mum- finally got around to finding the Tom Collins ratio that works for me. This drink was named after Old Tom Gin, a style popular in the 19th century with added sugar. Old Tom Gin had all but died out for many years, but recently several distillers such as Hayman’s have resurrected this type of gin. Anyway, this post isn’t about Old Tom Gin; I don’t have any because it’s prohibitively priced in the Australian market for my budges and London Dry Gin is a completely acceptable substitute for most purposes. Maybe my lemons aren’t that sour, but I can’t imagine wanting more than a teaspoon of sugar in this. Definitely sweet enough. Slightly less might do, if you like your drinks tart.
Bobby Burns (stub)
2 Blended Scotch (Famous Grouse Malt)
3/4 Sweet Vermouth (Cinzano Rosso)
Stir with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Dale DeGroff thinks you should serve it with shortbread, because “it’s traditional, it’s Scottish, and it’s delicious”.
This was for dad. A really nice Scotch drink, obvious ties with the Manhattan. It doesn’t quite command the same power of flavour as a Manhattan though. I think I just slightly overstirred this one – it was a shade too diluted. Made to this recipe, it’s sweetish, but not sweet. I’ll try it with slightly less Benedictine next time, just a teaspoon.