Sunday, November 27, 2011


1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Vya)
1 Egg, separated
1/2 oz Gin (Aviation)
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters

Stir Campari and sweet vermouth with a spoon in a 2 oz sherry glass to mix. Layer an unbroken egg yolk on top. Layer gin on top of that. Beat egg whites until they are stiff (whisk or cobbler shaker with a balled up Hawthorne spring) and cover gin layer with egg whites. Garnish with a dash of orange bitters. Drink in a ceremonial 4 step process as laid out below by Leo Engel in 1878:
1. Pass the glass under the Nostrils and Inhale the Flavour –- Pause.
2. Hold the glass perpendicularly, close under your mouth, open it wide, and suck the froth by drawing a Deep Breath. -- Pause again.
3. Point the lips and take one-third of the liquid contents remaining in the glass without touching the yolk. -- Pause once more.
4. Straighten the body, throw the head backward, swallow the contents remaining in the glass all at once, at the same time breaking the yolk in your mouth.
Two Thursdays ago, the theme for Mixoloseum's Drink Night was "red and yellow" in honor of the leaves changing color as we get further into Autumn. Therefore, the use of red and/or yellow cocktail ingredients was encouraged. The idea for this drink came midway through the night in a discussion of how egg yolks were another yellow ingredient besides the obvious Yellow Chartreuse, Galliano, Strega, and Lillet. To figure out a red ingredient, I thought of Campari and somehow that triggered an old thought about how to modernize the Knickebein, a layered drink created in 1878 by Leo Engel that features an unbroken egg yolk in the middle. When we made a Knickebein for a Mixology Monday back almost 3 years ago, we lacked the crème de noyau to craft Engel's, so we opted for the one in Boothby's 1907 World's Drinks and How To Mix Them. The kümmel in Boothby's Knickebein was not so appealing despite the liqueur working well in other drinks. Therefore, the concept of modifying a favorite liqueur-laden drink and dividing it up into Pousse-café format led me to crossing a Negroni with a Knickebein especially since Campari and sweet vermouth fulfilled the red part of the colored drink night theme.
The Knickroni began with a pleasant orange aroma from the Regan's Bitters; I replaced the original Knickebein's aromatic bitters with orange ones to represent the Negroni's orange twist garnish. The first part of the drink contained the gin flavor smoothed by the egg white meringue. Next were the sweet vermouth and the sharper Campari notes; these flavors were greatly softened once the egg yolk was burst on the tongue.

Overall, the Knickroni offered up a more desirable flavor base than the other Knickebein combinations I have read in old drink books, so I chalk that up as a success. Another success was reading a post by Matt Hamlin in the A Jigger of Blog; Matt saw the tweet about the drink and commented that "There is some serious WTFery going on here."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's mad. And I want one.