Sunday, January 28, 2018

fernet chocolate egg cream

2 oz Fox's U-Bet Chocolate Syrup
2 oz Fernet Branca
5-6 oz Whole Milk

Build in a pint-sized milk bottle (from the freezer; measured a little over 17 oz to the top) and semi-aggressively stir to mix in the chocolate syrup (a light schmear of chocolate along the bottom is acceptable and perhaps desirable). Top with 6-7 oz cold Q Club Soda, gently stir to make a frothy head, leave in the spoon, and add a straw. The straw should float suspended on the head. The coldness of the ingredients helps to make the best Egg Creams (our Fernet is stored in the fridge along with the milk and club soda).

At Our Fathers, we offer Egg Creams of two varieties: Chocolate and Pistachio. But why can't these non-alcoholic wonders be made more adult? And what is an Egg Cream anyways? The genesis of the Egg Cream can be traced back to somewhere between the 1880s and the first decade of the 1900s either in Brookyln or Manhattan's Lower East Side. The name is a paradox since it contains neither egg nor cream, but milk, seltzer water, and flavored syrup, and this combination cuts the richness of the milk with the lightness of the soda water to make a not that sweet and almost ethereal libation. There are many theories behind the name such as the more credible Yiddish explanation of the "echt cream" (good cream) to a French actor asking for "chocolat et crème," and the mixture most likely stemmed from the classic ice cream-free milkshake which did indeed contain egg along with cream, syrup, and soda water. I remember when growing up that my mom used to buy Fox's U-Bet Chocolate Syrup and declared that it was the only proper chocolate syrup for an Egg Cream; however, she never made us a single one (we used it in chocolate milk or on ice cream sundaes for years before Hershey's Brand bumped this product from most supermarkets back in Connecticut). The syrup itself was created in the early 1900s, so most likely the Egg Cream was created without it and instead a house syrup as the original flavorant, but many like my mom grew up to believe that it was crucial. It did not hurt that her maiden name was Fox either.
Since I could not get guests at my bar who ordered Egg Creams after a round or two of cocktails to try a spirits-laden one, I decided to make myself one for my shift drink the following evening two Sundays ago. As Fernet Branca and chocolate are great bedfellows especially with dairy such as in my 2009 Fernet Alexander, I took this path as my first step. The addition of one eighth of the total volume being spirit required a little adjustment, but I think the end result turned out decently well since it passed the straw test such that the foam supported the plastic drinking straw. Here was the great combination of minty chocolate that colored the dynamic result of carbonation dancing between fat and protein molecules. Moreover, it did feel a touch naughty drinking a seemingly non-alcoholic libation with the adult beverage ingredient in the mix.

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