Local Libations: Applejack Fizz
by Andrew States
I have a complicated relationship with eggs. I don’t like the taste or the consistency. I don’t like their reputation and I don’t like the way they look like they’re hiding something. It makes me suspicious. Scrambled, poached, sunny side up…it doesn’t matter. I don’t like eggs. That said, there are no absolutes in life. I’ve been spotted feasting heartily on a quiche or eviscerating a plate of huevos rancheros with something approaching Bacchanalian fervor and I have no qualms about eggs as an ingredient in most baked goods. So eggs…it’s hard to explain.
When I read Brianna’s description of her stir-fry, my old nemesis kept jumping out at me. Eggs. You crafty dogs. The first time I read the recipe for a drink that called for egg whites, I skipped on down the menu until I found something else, something egg-less. The very thought of eggs in a drink brought up the image of Rocky Balboa downing his glass-full in the wan light of morning, a picture that has always disturbed me. My prudishness continued right up until I attended a cocktail class run by a barman named Michael Ceccone, erstwhile bar manager of Savoy and Back Forty. Aside from getting wildly drunk, my mind was opened to the possibilities that occur when egg and spirit meet. It was a Port Flip and it was revelatory. Using a whole raw egg, the drink was a combination of port, Jack Daniels, Benedictine, simple syrup and cream. I smiled and strode boldly into the breach. Well, I forced a smile at least. The drink was luxurious, almost velvety – and it was tasty. Humbly and soundly, I was now educated. Since then, I’ve come around on the subject of eggs in cocktails. They add a creaminess and smoothness that is hard to find in a dairy free drink. They are refreshing and delicious and, most of all, fun to make.
For today’s cocktail I’ve decided on a variation of the Flip cocktail – a Fizz, which uses only the white of the egg. It’s a drink that thrives on alteration: all you need for a flip is your spirit, sugar and egg white. It’s largely a blank canvas once you get past your base ingredients. In keeping with the local theme, and because fall is coming on, I used Laird’s Applejack as my base. Bottled in Scobeyville New Jersey, Laird’s has been around since 1698. Sometimes called a brandy, Applejack is actually apple brandy blended with neutral spirits. Though primarily used as an ingredient in other classic cocktails, it is surprisingly easy to drink on its own. In the spirit of fall and my egg détente, here’s my recipe for the Applejack Fizz.
Prep time: 3 minutes
Yield: 1 serving
Tools: Shaker with jigger, or a shaker and a measuring cup, cocktail strainer, measuring spoons.
- 2 oz. Laird’s Applejack
- 1 tsp. organic sugar
- 1 organic egg white
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- Pour two ounces of Applejack into the shaker.
- Add 1 tsp of organic sugar.
- Holding the strainer over the shaker, crack one egg onto the strainer letting the egg white but NO YOLK run through into the shaker with the other ingredients. Discard yolk (or use it right away in your stir-fry!).
- Add ice to the shaker.
- Cover and shake vigorously.
- Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with grated nutmeg. Salut!