Episode 029 - Egg Cocktails

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What’s shakin, cocktail fans.

Welcome back to another episode of the Modern Bar Cart Podcast. I’m your host, Eric Kozlik, and today, we’ve got an intriguing episode that deals with one of the lesser-used cocktail ingredients - eggs.

This egg-driven episode kind of fell into place when Dennis Sendros, a DC-based home bartender and podcast listener, reached out to us with the subject line: Come Drink with Us!

This attracted our attention more-so than some of the other messages in the podcast inbox that day.

Turns out, Dennis hosts a monthly gathering called Cocktological Evenings, where he selects a theme and creates an intimate, booze-driven gathering to explore cocktails through that particular lens. You’ll hear Dennis speak more about this in just a minute, but there are two important details I want to share with you:

 Dennis Sendros of Cocktological Evenings

Dennis Sendros of Cocktological Evenings

  1. First, if you want to check out some pictures of what he and his guests are up to, head over to Instagram and follow @cocktologicalevenings. Or visit cocktologicalevenings.com.
  2.  If you’d like a special code to sign up for one of these events please email podcast@modernbarcart.com, and we’ll hook you up with one of the special signup codes that Dennis has reserved for exclusively for listeners of the Modern Bar Cart Podcast.

That’s 2 major discounts and promotions in one intro, folks. Not too shabby.

Some of the topics Dennis and I discuss in this episode include:

  • The major egg-driven cocktails: Nogs, Flips, Fizzes, and Sours
  • What properties yolks and whites lend to our favorite drinks
  • Tips for hosting intimate cocktail gatherings like a pro
  • The art of the dry shake and the reverse dry shake
  • Ancient, egg-related creation myths
  • How Walt Whitman likes his Whiskey Sours
  • And much, much more

This is a great episode for the winter season, when we tend to enjoy darker, more textured cocktails, and when we tend to do more indoor hosting at home, both of which are great reasons to break out the egg nog or make a round of flips.

Featured Cocktail: The Fernet Flip

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Today’s featured cocktail is something that we speak about at length in this episode, so I won’t give away too many of the fun details, but I will teach you how to make it.

It’s called the Fernet Flip, and the ingredients are pretty simple. You’ll need:

  • 1.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 1.5 oz Fernet Branca
  • Several Dashes Embitterment Chocolate Bitters
  • 1 whole egg

And to make this drink, all you’ve got to do is combine all those ingredients (including the whole egg) in a shaker with NO ICE and give them a shake. This is called a dry shake, and we’ll get into why you do this in the episode. And then after your cocktail is shaken, you go ahead and add ice to the shaker and repeat the whole procedure. Then you strain into a chilled cocktail glass, maybe grate some cinnamon or nutmeg on top for a festive touch, and enjoy.

Show Notes

This was a wide-ranging conversation, but we've distilled the most important info into the following categories:

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Types of Egg Cocktails

  • Flips - Contain both yolks and whites, are shaken.
  • Nogs - Contain both yolks and whites, usually with the addition of cream.
  • Sours - Contain whites only, usually shaken together with sugar and citrus
  • Fizzes - The same as sours, but with the addition of soda water for that fizz effect

Yolks vs. Whites

Egg Whites primarily contain protein and are used to provide a silky texture and a nice head of foam to any drink when shaken. They also have the added capacity to strip harsh tannins and congeners from the spirits, which makes them great for taking lower-quality spirits and transforming them into smooth sippers.

Egg Yolks contain a decent amount of fat, which means that when they're shaken, they become emulsified and lend the drink a "creamy" texture. Whereas egg whites don't really add flavor, egg yolks add a fatty, slightly savory aspect to the drink, but one that rarely over-powers the dominant flavors of the cocktail.

The Dry Shake

This is a technique you might want to employ when shaking a drink that contains egg whites. The foamy head is easier to achieve without the presence of cold or water, so to shake the cocktail for a while before adding your ice, you're more likely to achieve that luxurious, silky head of foam on your drink.

Lightning Round

Favorite Cocktail

The Last Word

Favorite Spirit

Mezcal

Cocktail with Anyone, Past or Present

Whiskey Sour with Walt Whitman

Influential Cocktail Books

The Joy of Mixology

Advice for New Home Bartenders

Trust that, as long as you're doing things like using fresh fruit juice and vermouth that hasn't gone bad, you're going to make good drinks, and your friends will want to try them.