The theme for this month’s Mixology Monday was “Broaden Your Horizons”. The first one for 2009, it’s being hosted by The Scribe over at A Mixed Dram. So, before I forget – thanks “The Scribe” for hosting this month!
It was kind of a tough topic. Basically, The Scribe wanted us to think of an ingredient or technique we hadn’t used before and explore it. I don’t want to act all jaded and like “oh, you know, I’ve been there and done that, har!” But I was also like “uhh…what to do?”
That’s ’cause I’m typically the type of guy that if there’s something I want to try I just go ahead and try it. I do the same thing with buying stuff, so it makes me hard to buy presents for, I’ve been told.
There’s one recipe however that I found in Harry Johnson’s classic bar guide that I’ve been wanting to try mostly for one big reason: it uses an egg yolk. Not the white…just the yolk.
He has pictures in his book of various drinks and there’s one picture of a layered drink with an egg yolk in it so I knew exactly how I wanted it to look. I had the liquor ingredients – green Chartreuse, maraschino, and Benedictine – so I went to the store, bought a fresh batch of eggs, and got ready to make the drink!
(Use a medium size wine glass)
1 yolk of a fresh egg;
1/3 glass of maraschino;
1/3 glass of green chartreuse;
1/3 glass of benedictine, and serve.
(Courtesy of Harry Johnson’s New and Improved (Illustrated) Bartender’s Manual and a Guide for Hotels and Restaurants, copyrighted 1900, reprinted 2008 by Mud Puddle Books.)
Wow. Hit a few issues right away. I didn’t have a great cordial glass for this (like the ones in Harry’s illustrations). I wasn’t certain how much to use of each liquor and couldn’t be bothered to look that up in something like David Wondrich’s Imbibe!. I also wasn’t certain which order to layer them in because Gary Regan’s The Joy of Mixology only had Benedictine listed of those three drinks. His book did list ingredients in order to layer them in so I figured, hey, what the heck, I’ll try it that way.
But before I actually made the drink, I thought I’d get the yolk out first. The first egg I managed to break the yolk of and so I didn’t want to use it. The second egg I was much more careful with and the yolk was intact.
Then it was a glass. I ended up grabbing a tasting glass from Horton vineyards; it was one of the smaller glasses I have and it seemed like it’d be a good shape and size for the drink. It holds six ounces, so in a bout of not-thinking-things-through-completely (see below) I decided to use one ounce of each liquor.
Grabbing my bar spoon and measuring glass, I poured out the drink. I put the maraschino in first, then the yolk – basing that off some random thing I’d read during the day – then the Chartreuse and last the Benedictine. Looking at the picture, it might’ve been the wrong order to do them in.
As you might be able to tell, the chartreuse appeared to float up to the top right away. The egg yolk didn’t stay perfectly in the middle – there might’ve been a bit of egg white left – but hey, I thought it looked kind of cool.
Then I realized something.
How in the name of Captain Tightpants was I supposed to drink this monstrosity?!
I took a sip off the top and really, that just gets you Chartreuse. Not that I mind a nice dose of Chartreuse, but it wasn’t going to work (particularly when I’d get to the maraschino – ick!).
So I manned up, took a deep breath, and drank that #%()!-ing thing in one long pull.
THAT WAS THE WRONG THING TO DO AND DON’T DO THAT UNLESS YOU USE SMALLER PORTIONS.
Let me reiterate that:
DO NOT DO THAT.
My eyes watered. My throat choked up. I haven’t reacted that poorly to a shot in a long, long time.
I can’t even tell you what it tasted like – let’s just say, uh, wow, it was intense, and I would consider trying it again if I made it smaller. (And if you want to make a “that’s what she said” joke, go for it, just … well, that’s the kind of thing that’d happen more likely maybe over in the Mixoloseum chat room, I’d bet.)
While I had gone through all that I’d made up a new batch of simple syrup. This syrup I was going to modify a bit.
You see, I love vanilla. I don’t know when that happened – I guess as I grew up, I discovered a big love for vanilla. Kind of like when I realized that my favorite color was no longer black or blue (emo SeanMike for the win!) but red. Weird. And — I’ve never used vanilla simple syrup in a cocktail.
It cooled, I added an ounce or so of 100 proof vodka to help preserve it and add in about 1/4 of an ounce or so of the vanilla. Tasting it straight, I thought it tasted pretty vanilla so I decided to try a drink with it.
In the middle of my debates inside the aforementioned chat room, wondering what to make with it (and getting very good suggestions from Stevi for dacquiris and French 75s) a horde of future in-laws showed up and I was forced to shut down my computer rapidly less they see some of the less-than-family friendly site titles in my Windows bar. DARN YOU VISTA!
I thumbed my way through The Joy of Mixology and through Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails before suddenly thinking: HEY! A Sazerac!
I grabbed my Old Overholt, the Peychaud’s bitters, my little dripper bottle of absinthe, and a lemon.
If you know my favorite recipe for a Sazerac, you know how I made it.
3 ounces rye
3/4 ounce simple syrup
2 solid dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
Mix the rye, simple syrup, and Peychaud’s over ice. Rinse out a chilled rocks glass with absinthe, dump out the absinthe, and strain the stirred mixture into the glass. Squeeze a lemon peel over it and toss out the lemon peel.
The drink wasn’t bad – though the vanilla tones to it were really wiped out after the bitters and rye. I might need to add more extract to the mixture.
But before I do that, I’ll probably have to go ahead and make a French 75.
I’m sure it’ll be delicious.
Anyways, thanks again to The Scribe over at A Mixed Dram for hosting this month. Me, I’m going to walk back over to my precious, precious vanilla syrup. What? You want me to mix you up with an egg yolk in a some kind of layered drink that doesn’t have the same ingredients as before? Hmmmm….