MxMo XLII: Egg-Gullet

mxmologoThis month’s Mixology Monday is hosted by the eGullet forums, a great online resource for culinary information. The theme of the month is “Dizzy Dairy”; anything involving milk, cream, eggs, butter, cheese, etc.

Eggs are one of my favourite ingredients to work with in cocktails. Many of my favourite drinks owe their excellence to the texture imparted by egg white; for example, a Whiskey Sour is wholly elevated by the addition of 10mL of egg white. In this post, I’ll be covering a few egg-based drinks which I think don’t get enough press on the net; the Royal Gin Fizz, the Prado, 1806’s Margarita Custard, Morning Glory Fizz and the Golden Gin Fizz.

The Royal Fizz was a pre-prohibition subcategory of the Fizz, essentially referring to fizzes shaken with whole eggs. They could be made with any spirit, though I believe it was most popularly ordered with gin. The Royal Fizz and its cousins the Golden and Silver Fizzz (made with an egg yolk or white, respectively) are near extinct in the majority of bars these days, as people have shied away from the once-popular practise of imbibing raw eggs, particularly as morning-after drinks. This is a real pity as I believe they are great and equally palatable variations on the simple Fizz, which can get pretty boring fast.

Royal Gin Fizz

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1 1/2 Gin (Plymouth)
1 lemon juice
2tsp sugar syrup (2:1)
A whole egg
~1 1/2 Soda

Shake the gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and egg without ice for a decently long time to combine and aerate. Shake with ice and strain into a small tall glass. Top with soda water.

I found the Royal Gin Fizz to largely approximates a Ramos Gin Fizz in flavour, but without the creaminiess and stability of froth. I may even prefer this to the Ramos, being less thick and filling. It didn’t foam as much as I’d have liked on the head due to the soda water I used being less than freshly opened. Rich and floral, but tangy and refreshing. Between this and a Continental Gin Sour I made at a friend’s house a few weeks ago, I find that pairing egg with gin really brings out the floral notes present.

I invited my friend Nick over to taste the following drinks with me.

The Prado is a sort of Margarita variation, subbing Maraschino for Triple Sec and adding an egg white. Though Washington Post claim it was created by Kacy Fitch of the Zig Zag Caf√©, the drink actually dates to at least 1977, being printed in Jones’ Complete Bar Guide. Zig Zag have certainly made a good effort at popularising it, however.

Prado

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1 1/2 Tequila (Sauza Blanco)
3/4 Lime juice
1/2 Maraschino Liqueur (Baitz)
3/4 to 1 Egg white

Mime shake all ingredients. Shake with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime twist, partly for the aroma but mainly because it looks pretty.

I like to use a whole egg white for this to get it as fluffy and light as possible. I’ve made this with both the Sauza Blanco and Tequila Blu Reposado, both mixto tequilas, but haven’t yet tried it with a 100% agave spirit. I actually preferred it with the Tequila Blu, whose harsher character and strong pepper note held its ground better in this mix. The Sauza is more subtle. This is one of my favourite tequila drinks, a crowd pleaser I use to introduce people to egg white. Given there’s a half ounce of liqueur in there, it’s surprisingly not particularly sweet, and fairly bitter. When shaken right the texture is heavenly, like sipping a cloud. I noted on this tasting that the tequila and especially the Maraschino dominated the flavour when the drink was on the tongue, but upon swallowing a wave of lime burst over the palate, leading into a mildly bitter finish.

The Margarita Custard is yet another riff off the Margarita, but a fairly unique one. Created by Sebastian Reaburn of 1806, a Melbourne cocktail bar that specialises in history, this ‘drink’ is like a lemon custard, only alcoholic. Here is Reaburn’s recipe:

Margarita Custard
A modern take on a 1930s favourite

Margarita Custard

30ml Herradura Blanco Tequila or Cuervo 1800 Blanco Tequila
30ml Cointreau
20ml fresh lemon juice
15ml sugar syrup
1 whole egg.

Whip ingredients together well. Pour into a heat resistant glass. Heat using the steam wand of a coffee machine until the mixture sets. Garnish with a light dusting of grated nutmeg. Serve with a spoon. Eat while hot!

I used Trago Silver for the tequila, and 2tsp of sugar instead of the syrup. I’ll be honest, every time I’ve made this I forgot the nutmeg finish. Regardless, the Margarita Custard is amazing. I’ve never tried it at 1806, but have not been disappointed by it at home. Very upfront orange flavour, luxurious texture and a lovely alcohol burn that results from the heat – this can be off putting to some. Being essentially a lemon custard, this is obviously an after dinner treat.

nom custard

Lacking a steam wand, I cooked this in the microwave instead. This brings some complications – it is essential that you get the cooking time right lest you end up with scrambled eggs. I have found it hard to get it to a satisfactory overall texture without having a few scrambly bits in, mostly at the bottom of the glass. Whilst these bits can be pretty detrimental to the texture, it’s not such an issue as the drink/food is far more than delicious enough to make up for it. I advise that you start with a shorter microwave time first, check the custard and microwave it further as required. In my microwave, about 40 seconds on the medium high setting does the trick. I have not yet experimented with stirring the mixture during cooking, for fear of ruining the texture, but may try this in the future.

This is my take on the Morning Glory Fizz. The Morning Glory Fizz was intended as a 19th century hangover cure. Inspired by my favourite bar Der Raum’s own interpretation, the delicious Islay Morning Fizz which uses Ardbeg 10 as a base and rosemary as a garnish, I basically took a standard Morning Glory Fizz recipe and added some Islay scotch and a few dashes of Peychaud’s bitters.

Morning Glory Fizz

Morning Glory Fizz

1 Blended Scotch (Famouse Grouse malt)
1/2 Islay Scotch (Laphroaig 10)
3/4 Lemon juice
3/4 Egg white
2tsp sugar
1tsp Absinthe/Pastis (Ricard) (slightly scant, maybe 4mL)
3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
~1 1/2 soda water

Mime shake the lemon juice, sugar and egg white. Add the blended scotch, Peychaud’s bitters and absinthe to the shaker. Rinse the inside of a chilled wineglass with the Islay Scotch, pouring it into the shaker as well. Shake hard with ice. Strain into the chilled wineglass and top with soda.

I managed to work a huge and dense foam on it this time. This was probably due to using a freshly opened bottle of soda for the drink, a practise which I heavily recommend for all carbonated drinks but especially egg fizzes, where it is paramount that you build a nice head. It also seems it might be very important with such foam-topped drinks (including the Singapore Sling) to pour the soda directly into the drink, without jiggering. Jiggering the soda takes a lot of the initial fizz away, which I think may really diminish the frothing ability. Of course a lot of other factors were in play when I’ve mixed these drinks, such as freshness of the soda, so I can’t say this entirely conclusively.

Other notes on the method: I find that mime shaking the sugar with the citrus and egg is enough to dissolve it well. Make sure you don’t add the alcohol at this stage as it inhibits the dissolution of sugar. If you’re using sugar syrup you can just skip that step, of course. I like to rinse with the Islay before shaking the Islay in to get more of it on the nose whilst drinking.

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This was a very nice drink. Nick commented that it was “very well balanced”. In the past when I’ve mixed this the pastis has kind of dominated (not unpleasantly), but this time it played nice with the others, perhaps because I used a mL or two less than I normally poured (hence the scant in the recipe above). After drinking through some of the thick foam, we hit the body of the drink, finding a fizzy citrus tang which gave way to anise flavours and lingering smoke. I think I could have done with a stronger Islay presence in this drink, perhaps using only Islay scotch as the base, but I don’t think I can afford to mix a 1 1/2 ounce pour of single malt every time I want one of these. It’s fantastic as is.

mmm

Having an egg yolk left over from the above drinks, I decided to also give the Golden Gin Fizz a try. Instead of using the recipe I used for the Royal Gin Fizz above, I took my Tom Collins proportions and added the egg yolk, which turned out to not be such a good idea…

Golden Gin Fizz

Golden Gin Fizz

1 1/2 Gin (Beefeater)
3/4 Lemon juice
1tsp sugar
An egg yolk (approximately 15mL)
~2 Soda water

Mime shake lemon juice, sugar and egg yolk to combine and aerate. Add gin, shake hard with ice. Strain into a small tall glass. Top with soda awter.

This turned out distinctly bitter, perhaps remediable by increasing the sugar content or using Plymouth gin instead. Or maybe the somewhat large soda pour I gave accented the bitterness. Essentially, this would have turned out a better drink had I followed the recipe for the Royal Fizz above and simply omitted the egg white, as the richer nature of the drink calls for more sugar than a tart Collins or plain Fizz. I also prefer the the Royal Gin Fizz overall for its airier texture – the egg white quite improves the mouthfeel. This was still an enjoyable drink, but really, I reckon you might as well throw the whole egg in or stick with an eggless Gin Fizz.

That’s all for this post. I also made Nick a fresh grapefruit Paloma (which I’ll write about later) and we had a nip of Ferro-China Bisleri, an iron tonic amaro…

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Published in: on September 28, 2009 at 6:16 am  Comments (1)  

Singapore Sling Showdown

I wrote most of this post about a month ago, but didn’t finish until today.

Finally purchasing my first bottle of Cherry Heering, I also picked up some pineapple juice so I could treat my family to a round of Singapore Slings. I realised this was a great opportunity to test out a few recipes to see which I preferred (you tend to make a lot of these when you have a 2L carton of pineapple juice sitting in your fridge which would otherwise almost never be touched). I ended up experimenting with four and a half different variations on the modern Raffles recipe which everyone seems to be mixing nowadays.

Method for all recipes: Mime shake all ingredients except soda. Shake briefly with ice, strain into a tall glass filled with ice cubes. Top with soda, if using. Garnish with an orange slice and cherry.

1 Gin
1/2 Cherry Heering
1/4 Cointreau
1/4 Benedictine
3 Pineapple juice (unsweetened)
1/2 Lime juice
1/4 Grenadine
Dash Angostura bitters

1 1/2 Gin
1/2 Cherry Heering
1/4 Cointreau
1/4 Benedictine
4 Pineapple juice (unsweetened)
1/2 Lime juice
1/4 Grenadine
Dash Angostura bitters

The first of these was too light and the pineapple definitely dominated the second.

1 1/2 Gin
1/2 Cherry Heering
1/4 Cointreau
1/4 Benedictine
3 Pineapple juice (unsweetened)
1/2 Lime juice
1/4 Grenadine
Dash Angostura bitters
Top with ~1 soda water

The soda improved the foam a lot, and made the mouthfeel of the drink a bit clearer whilst still being quite rich.

After several days I finished my bottle of Cointreau. I’d seen some sources recommend Grand Marnier over Cointreau, so I gave this a try. I also still found the pineapple a bit too strong in the mix, so it came to this:

Aaron’s Ultimate Preferred Singapore Sling Recipe As Of Nowish:
1 1/2 Gin
1/2 Cherry Heering
1/4 Grand Marnier
1/4 Benedictine
2 1/2 Pineapple juice (unsweetened)
1/2 Lime juice
1/2tsp Grenadine (optional?)
Dash Angostura bitters
Top with ~1 soda water

It was the best I’d made so far. The switch to Grand Marnier, even used in such small quantity, made a significant difference, eliciting a richer and luxurious overall flavour. I left out the grenadine when I made it the first time, and haven’t really tested yet to see what sort of effect its inclusion has other than on appearance so I’ll just say you can be flavour safe skipping it entirely.

Now for a few comments:

  • I mime shook here to get more of that beautiful pineapple froth without having to shake too long with ice; when serving drinks on ice, especially long drinks, I try not to dilute too much before hitting the rocks lest the drink get too watery towards the end.
  • I don’t know how people get their Slings to be a nice bright colour. I’m not talking neon red, but say a pinkish/golden blush. Maybe it’s the juice I’m using, but Cherry Heering is a really dark liqueur and using the standard amount turns my drink a deep, muddy red. Even using grenadine doesn’t help much colourwise. I’m not fussed though, because it still looks great with the foam on top and the flag garnish.
  • I’d like to see how this tastes with freshly pressed pineapple juice.

Since the Heering’s hit my shelf, this drink has been a hit with my folks and friends. It’s even a good gateway drink perhaps- complex enough to get people to think and appreciate what they’re drinking, yet sweet and accessible. I’d say it’s the kind of drink with a deep, rich and complex flavour, but without detailed separation; it’s difficult to pick out the component ingredients. It’s also the kind of drink that’s incredibly delicious, and you should mix yourself one right now.

Refreshingly tropical enough to be drunk in the height of summer (or in Singapore for that matter), yet rich enough for the heart of winter (if your heater’s on). Distinctive and complicated enough to be a mixological landmark, yet not something that will challenge neophyte palates. I can see this becoming a staple around the house as a crowd pleaser all year round.

Published in: on September 25, 2009 at 6:36 am  Leave a Comment  

Painkiller

Had both pineapple juice and coconut cream left over in the fridge from making dad a Pina Colada two days ago. Went flicking through DeGroff’s The Essential Cocktail and happened across a recipe that used both: Pusser’s Painkiller. Unfortunately I don’t have Pusser’s Navy Rum in my bar so I had to substitute Inner Circle Red Spot, a pretty tasty Australian dark rum made in the Jamaican style (lightyears ahead of Bundaberg, which is in my books undrinkable, and hardly pricier). I’ve never tried Pusser’s and thus cannot comment on how Inner Circle compares, but it went down well in this drink with its strong molasses flavour.

Painkiller

Painkiller

2 Pusser’s Rum (I substituted Inner Circle Red)
2 Pineapple Juice (unsweetened carton)
1 Fresh squeezed orange juice
1 Coconut cream (Ayam)

I tried this with 2.5 measures of pineapple juice, because artofdrink and the Pusser’s site call for 3 and 4 parts respectively, but next time I’ll probably go with DeGroff’s 2 measures as I like my drinks strong, especially when served on the rocks.

It’s a very nice tasting drink, much more refreshing than DeGroff’s Pina Colada. The major issue some might have with it is that the coconut cream is fairly grainy in texture; you can taste and feel the little tiny specks of coconut. This isn’t too big a problem for me. I’m not sure if this would improve if the coconut cream was heated/melted before usage, or in warmer weather, but I gave did add a dash of hot water and gave it a good mime shake already to better incorporate it. Also, I’m not sure how the Ayam brand cream I used compares to Coco Lopez, which seems to be America’s industry standard for mixing purposes and not readily available in Australia.

The obvious flavours here are the coconut cream and the rum; pineapple is merely detectable. The gritty cream texture dominates the mouthfeel as well. The nutmeg plays beautifully with the coconut on the nose. It seems I had the opposite impressions of this to Art of Drink; the orange juice was indiscernible amongst the mix whilst the coconut cream was forefront. If you can get over the grainy texture, I certainly recommend this drink- I think I prefer it to the Pina Colada for the nutmeg, lighter feel, and more present rum flavour.

Published in: on September 7, 2009 at 11:41 am  Leave a Comment