I just realised yesterday, after someone asked me when I last updated my blog, that I haven’t for over two months! So here’s another post.
I started the afternoon without a clue of what to blog about, so I thought of a quick fix; peruse cocktail virgin slut until I found something that sounded interesting and tasty which I had the ingredients for. cocktail virgin slut is one of my favourite drink blogs, covering masses of drinks and often very interesting ones. I hit search for Genever and quickly came across the Alamagoozlum.
The Alamagoozlum is probably best known at the moment for being the first drink in Ted Haigh’s (aka. Dr. Cocktail) magnificent book Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. The only time I’ve actually read the book, once in the Borders on Lygon Street ages ago (can’t find it there now unfortunately) I was taken aback by its lengthy recipe full of ingredients nowhere to be seen on my bar shelf. But when Ted Haigh tells you to try out a crazy cocktail, you better damn well make sure you do it. So here, something like a year and a half later, I’ve got all the stuff, and I’m gonna go for it. Here’s the original recipe, as written in Haigh’s book and his source Charles H. Baker’s Around the World with Jigger, Beaker and Flask:
- 1/2 egg white
- 2 oz Genever
- 2 oz water
- 1 1/2 oz Jamaica Rum
- 1 1/2 oz Green or Yellow Chartreuse
- 1 1/2 oz gomme syrup
- 1/2 oz orange curacao
- 1/2 oz Angostura bitters
Shake, strain into three glasses.
Okay, I lied, I don’t have gomme syrup. I tweaked the recipe a bit for my own tastes; I cut the water and the syrup (it sounded a bit diluted and oversweet), and used a bit more egg white to compensate for the lack of gomme:
- 1/2ish an egg white
- 20mL Genever (Bols Oude Genever)
- 15mL water
- 15mL Jamaican Rum (Inner Circle Red)
- 15mL Chartreuse (Green)
- 10mL Sugar syrup (2:1)
- 5mL Curacao (Grand Marnier)
- 5mL Angostura Aromatic Bitters
Mime shake, shake, strain into chilled cocktail glass.
Not that pretty a colour, unfortunately, kind of a dusty pale deep red, more like in the picture below than above. Smells somewhat eggy ? and mainly of Chartreuse.
On my first sip it seemed overpoweringly sweet, but not so much thereafter. It’s still very sweet, but not at all in an off-putting way mysteriously; I suppose the bitters tamed this a bit. I suggest you find out how much sugar works in the drink for yourself.
The flavour is huge, deep and kind of ‘magical’- like drinking a crystal ball, most likely due to Chartreuse containing like a billion botanicals I’ve never even heard of or tasted in anything else. Awesome! Most obvious on the palate is the Green Chartreuse and its slightly mineral/herbal character, followed by the fire and spice of the angostura bitters and rum. When the burn kicks in on the swallow the rum really speaks up a little, with some of its funky notes coming into play, with some lingering molasses. The genever plays quite a background role here, giving a detectable but quiet maltiness.
You can tell that water has been added, which I’m not sure is a good thing (usually I’m very picky even about shaken dilution levels, preferring a shorter shake), but in a cocktail with ingredients like this I’m certainly not finding the flavours to be stretched too thin.
At first I found the texture kind of slimy, but then realised I’d forgotten to mime shake it, so I returned the drink into the cold tin, sans ice, and gave it a few quick shakes and poured it back into my glass. Much better, now with a slightly frothier head (but a bit warmer for it). You know what the lesson here is folks.
Bottom line is, this is a fantastic drink that I would recommend to anyone who isn’t shy of these bold flavours. Do it!
Here is some further reading on the subject: the original post Fellow Aussie blogger Ben from Everyday Drinking just did a post on this recently, and he just gave me some props on his blog so I’m giving him a shoutout back. He should definitely get a drink with me if he pops down to Melbourne anytime sometime. This thread is also very good, as is this post.