The Eggpire Strikes Back: A Tales of the Cocktail Seminar Preview
The renaissance of pre-prohibition cocktails has, as we know, also meant a resurgence of interest in many “old-timey” ingredients and techniques. I’m thinking that it’s possible that no single reclaimed ingredient has been as mainstreamed as much as the egg, both in the form of whites, which contribute body and a lovely crown of lather, or when used whole, to make a creamy flip or nog. In the San Francisco bay area I would say most bars with a respectable bar program will offer at least one egg white-based cocktail.
The question may reasonably be asked, however, whether we’ve yet brought the egg completely into the modern mixological lexicon. Are there secrets yet for us to uncover? And what of the chemistry and physics involved: would knowing more about what’s inside the shell help use make better egg cocktails? Those inclined to delve more deeply into these and other ‘egg-centric’ questions would be well advised to a) get themselves to New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail 2010, b) stay until Sunday July 25th and c) attend the seminar entitled “The Eggpire Strikes Back” moderated by Timo Janse with panelists Andrew Nicholls and Henrick Hammer. The seminar runs from 12:30 to 2:00 PM.
I exchanged a few emails with Timo to find out more about what he’s got planned for his seminar. I think one of the topics that will be of most particular interest to bartenders is the matter of storage. If you work in a bar that’s part of a restaurant then it’s very likely that the eggs to which you have access will always be fresh and handled properly by the kitchen staff. If, however, you are directly responsible for purchasing, storing and handling the eggs at your bar, then the practices which Timo and company intend to review will be most useful.
I also asked Timo about the inspiration for this seminar. He says that since he’s been working with eggs at door 74 (where he tends bar in Amsterdam) he’s found it to be an ingredient around which there much confusion and which, consequentially, many people fear. He felt it was his “duty to spread the word” and to defend this beautiful product of nature.
Timo was also kind enough to share a recipe for an egg-based cocktail about which he’s particularly excited right now. It’s an original creation, clearly intended for dessert!
2 ounces Meukow vanilla cognac
1 whole egg
3/4 ounce Mulata Elisir de Ron (*)
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce Homemade pineapple syrup (**)
2 dashes Fee Bros. Whiskey Barrel Aged bitters
1 barspoon super fine sugar
Shake all ingredients except the sugar over ice.
Strain into a ceramic cup.
Sprinkle the sugar over the top of the cocktail.
Caramelize the sugar using a kitchen torch.
* – Timo tells me this is a creamy rum-based caramel flavored liqueur. Unfortunately, it’s not available in the US. There are two possible substitutes: Dulseda dulce de leche liqueur from Argentina (imported by Diageo) and Bailey’s caramel. For a rather different effect you could also try Godiva caramel liqueur, though this contains chocolate.
** – Timo did not provide a recipe for pineapple syrup. If you are inclined to make this yourself, there are several recipes available on the web. The one from Imbibe (link) looks very easy—though I have not tested it myself. Otherwise you could try to find Small Hand Food’s pineapple gum (which I recommend) or the product made by Monin, which contains no corn syrup.