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Troy Sidle

Alamagoozlum

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This cocktail was recently brought to my attention, but I have no clue what it is. I hear it's complicated.

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Society member Dr. Cocktail -- aka Ted Haigh -- though so highly of the drink that he mentions it in the subtitle of his indispensable book, Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: from the Alamagoozlum Cocktail to the Zombie. The Dr.'s prescription:

1/2 egg white

2 oz genever gin

2 oz water

1 1/2 oz Jamaica rum

1 1/2 oz Chartreuse (green or yellow)

1 1/2 oz gomme syrup

1/2 oz orange curacao

1/2 oz Angostura (not an error)

Shake, strain into three glasses. I think it best to drink one as a test before leaving the kitchen with two in hand, the official version for you and one for the partner.

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Notice that Chris noted of the 1/2 oz Angostura: not an error. This is a cocktail that would lose any recipe-judging competition (assuming the rules stipulate the judging must be of the written recipe alone.) Add to that the rare genever, the egg, the gum syrup AND water...it just sounds busy, picky, weird, awful, and just plain wrong. Credit J.P. Morgan (who IS credited for this drink) for more than financial prowess and Chas. Baker, Jr. for having the guts and insight to originally publish it. I think, 65 years later, I was indeed the guy who revived it, in the sadly out of print Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails.

***WARNING***SELF-SERVING PLUG ALERT***WARNING

I'm pleased to make eGullet the first discussion forum to report....Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails, the Deluxe, Revised edition will be released this year. It has more info, images, and stories on a lot of the rarified cocktails from the first edition (including the Alamagoozlum) but wait, there's more! There are 25% MORE new (meaning old) recipes of great flavor and obscurity to revel in plus more cocktail history and a section of Internet cocktail pioneers where eGullet plays a definite part! The book is bigger, more than double the page count, will open flat, hardback, and bee-yoo-ti-ful. The "where to acquire" section of arcane ingredients has been entirely updated.

Release date: July 1st 2009. With any luck, it'll be on sale at Tales of the Cocktail.

***END***SELF SERVING PLUG ALERT***END***

We now return you to your regular programming.

--Doc.

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The Alamagoozlum is, if the ingredient list didn't tip you off, quite a rich drink, but worth making all the same (an after-dinner type thing around here). Even if you can't get Genevere, something rich and complex like Junipero, or failing that, Tanqueray, still works just dandy. I usually cut the gomme back by 1/3-2/3 and use Green Chartreuse, but it's quite rich all the same.

And congrats on the new edition of the book, sir. Calendar marked.

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Society member Dr. Cocktail -- aka Ted Haigh -- though so highly of the drink that he mentions it in the subtitle of his indispensable book, Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: from the Alamagoozlum Cocktail to the Zombie. The Dr.'s prescription:

1/2 egg white

2 oz genever gin

2 oz water

1 1/2 oz Jamaica rum

1 1/2 oz Chartreuse (green or yellow)

1 1/2 oz gomme syrup

1/2 oz orange curacao

1/2 oz Angostura (not an error)

Shake, strain into three glasses. I think it best to drink one as a test before leaving the kitchen with two in hand, the official version for you and one for the partner.

this is a strange recipe. water and a half an egg white. then lots more sugar than i can metabolize. if i made something like this i'd use a whole egg white and assume there was an ounce of water in that... then i'd charge the drink with soda water like a fizz. but can you even get a froth with all that sugar and is it supposed to have any?

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I usually get some froth, but not much. It's all contributing to mouthfeel. The recipe above is for three drinks though I find that it makes 4-6 in smaller glasses. Even with 6 drinks being used and if you assume the gomme is a 1:1 syrup (the timeframe I think makes a richer concentration likely) that still equals an extra tsp of sugar in each drink, on top of 1/4 oz of Chartreuse and a 1/2 tsp of curacao. For these reasons the water is as necessary as in Jerry Thomas punches, to draw the sweetness out as much as possible. Subbing fizz would definitely be interesting, though take the texture in a radically different direction.

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I usually get some froth, but not much. It's all contributing to mouthfeel. The recipe above is for three drinks though I find that it makes 4-6 in smaller glasses. Even with 6 drinks being used and if you assume the gomme is a 1:1 syrup (the timeframe I think makes a richer concentration likely) that still equals an extra tsp of sugar in each drink, on top of 1/4 oz of Chartreuse and a 1/2 tsp of curacao. For these reasons the water is as necessary as in Jerry Thomas punches, to draw the sweetness out as much as possible. Subbing fizz would definitely be interesting, though take the texture in a radically different direction.

i tried making a half size, ommitting the gomme, going full eggwhite instead of water and hitting it with a tiny charge of soda. i got very little froth and couldn't really deal with the lack of acid. i though that the liqueurs and angostura bitters were especially cool together but i didn't even finish my drink... i'm going to reformat it as a sour and try again.

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