Protein Feed

Tama What? -- The Tamarind Fizz

Tamarind is the fruit from the tamarind tree, which is common in South Asia and Mexico.  It is tart and sweet.  I discovered tamarind when I had it in sauces on food in Thailand.  After savoring a Tamarind Fizz at Aqimero (great drinks, gorgeous decor) at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Philadelphia, I now appreciate using it in a cocktail.  This is the adaptation I made at home.

Tamarind Fizz2 ounces cachaça or light rum (see below)
1.5 ounces tamarind juice or soda
.5 ounces agave syrup or nectar
Juice from 1/4 lime
1 egg white

With tamarind juice, combine everything in a shaker with ice, shake as if you have a tart and sweet nature, and strain into a chilled glass.  Want a challenge?  Use a reverse dry shake to shake shake shake your egg whites. With tamarind soda, put the soda in a chilled glass (not the shaker; I know this is obvious but I figure I'd say it anyway), put everything else in a shaker with ice, and follow the same process.

The Tamarind Fizz has a lot of unusual ingredients.  You can get them pretty easily.  Cachaça is a clear liquor from Brazil.  It's similar to rum, but cachaça is distilled from fresh sugar cane juice and most rum is distilled from molasses (basically boiled sugar cane juice). You can find tamarind juice or soda in Asian and Latino grocery stores.  Agave nectar, an ingredient in the Kentucky Sunshine, is in many grocery stores.  Depending on how sweet the tamarind juice or soda is, you might want to cut back or cut out the agave nectar.

In a way the Tamarind Fizz is reminiscent of a Pisco Sour. Both have clear base spirits, and they include egg white and lime juice.  Of course, the big difference is pisco comes from torched Dutch grapes, and cachaça or rum comes from sugar cane.

Sometimes a little effort can lead to a big reward.  Making a Tamarind Fizz is one of those times.


Cold as Iceland -- The Icelandic Sour

The wonderful country of Iceland is the polar opposite of the person who's the subject of the Foreigner tune Cold As Ice.  As foreigners who recently traveled to Iceland, Ms. Wulf Cocktail Den and I had a great time seeing the sights and meeting people. The Icelandic Sour is my adaptation of the Whiskey Sour served at Loftid in Reykjavik.

With vitamin C and protein, the Icelandic Sour is a relatively healthy cocktail.
Containing Vitamin C and protein, the Icelandic Sour is a relatively healthy cocktail.

2.5 ounces rye
1 ounce super simple syrup
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 egg white
1 dash orange bitters
1 dash aromatic or Angostura bitters

Combine everything except the egg white into a shaker, add ice, shake with the force of water cascading over the majestic Gulfoss falls in Iceland, strain everything into a glass, toss the ice from the shaker, pour the contents of the glass back into the shaker, add the egg white, shake as if you're hustling to make your connection in Keflavik airport (don't ask), and strain into a separate chilled glass.

Why the complicated preparation? The reverse dry shaking process described above works really well for any drink with egg whites, e.g. the Pisco Sour (click on the Protein category for other examples) because it enhances the flavor and results in more foam.  If you don't want to reverse dry shake, just put all of the ingredients and ice into a shaker and shake away.

The Icelandic Sour is another example of the Whiskey Sour's versatility.  Other variations include cocktails such as the Midnight Train. All of the ingredients for the Icelandic Sour are easy to obtain, and you end up with a tasty and balanced drink. 

If you want paradise, pay the price with an Icelandic Sour.


Shake, Shake, Shake .... Shake Your Egg Whites

You can shake your booty all your want, but this is about eggs (sorry KC and the Sunshine Band). Some really good cocktails such as the Pisco Sour include egg whites as an ingredient.  Last year I learned about dry shaking cocktails with egg whites.  Dry shaking means you put everything in the shaker except ice, shake away, then add ice, shake some more, and strain the libation into a glass. 

Thanks to my lovely wife, aka Ms. Wulf Cocktail Den, and the Tales of the Cocktail website, I recently learned about the reverse dry shake.  Why should you care about the reverse dry shake?  Because it will make your cocktails with egg whites even lighter and tastier. 

So how do you reverse dry shake?  Click here for the article.  Basically you put everything (except the egg white) and ice in a shaker, shake, strain into a glass, toss the ice, put the liquid back into the shaker, add the egg white, shake some more, and voila! I tested the process with the Black Hat.  Even though the result didn't look different, the taste difference was noticeable and quite positive.  So get some eggs, click on the protein category on the right, pick a cocktail, and reverse dry shake!


A Bright Beacon Of Bourbon -- The Kentucky Sunshine

I promised to post two bourbon cocktails this month because September is National Bourbon Heritage Month. So here we go ...... the Kentucky Sunshine comes from Marvin Allen, a respected bartender at the Carousel Bar in New Orleans.  I discovered this drink while reading his book Magic In A Shaker.

I can see clearly now.
I can see clearly now.

2 ounces bourbon (you're using some from Kentucky, right?)
Juice from 1/2 lemon
.5 ounces agave syrup or nectar
1 egg white
3-4 dashes chocolate bitters (I used Bittered Sling)

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker without ice, shake with the energy of a solar flare, add ice, shake again, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Finding agave syrup or nectar shouldn't be hard.  I got some at Trader Joe's.  Finding the bitters could be tough.  They are not indispensable to the drink, but they will enhance it.

Doesn't this combination of ingredients seem bizarre?  I certainly thought so when I read the recipe.  However, having met Marvin Allen, I put my liver in the hands of a cocktail magician.  Regardless of what the weather is really like,  in the words from the Jimmy Cliff tune, once you have this cocktail it will be a bright, bright, bright sunshiny day (now the photo caption makes sense, doesn't it?).


Pride Of Peru (With Protein!) -- The Pisco Sour

It's refreshing, delicious, and contains 3.6 grams of protein (the amount in an egg white according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture).
It's refreshing, delicious, and contains 3.6 grams of protein (the amount in an egg white according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture).

Pisco is a grape brandy from either Peru or Chile.  If you saw the post about torched Dutch grapes (click here to read it), you learned that brandy can come from anywhere.  Both Peru and Chile insist that pisco and the Pisco Sour belong to their respective countries.  In 2013 the United States recognized pisco as a unique product of either country (in exchange they recognized bourbon and Tennessee whiskey as unique American products).

The Pisco Sour is the most famous of pisco cocktails.  Interestingly, just as an American in Cuba created the Daiquiri, an American in Peru created the Pisco Sour.   

2 ounces pisco
Juice from 1/2 lime
1 ounce super simple syrup
1 egg white
3-4 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine everything but the bitters in a shaker, shake as if you're bolting up the mountain towards Machu Picchu (this is dry shaking because there's no ice), add ice, shake again (now you're wet shaking), strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and add the bitters into the foam.

Pisco is popular enough that you can get it in liquor stores. If you order a Pisco Sour in a bar you may have to ask the bartender to add the bitters.  Not only are the bitters visually appealing, but they give the drink a nice little twist.  

I'm not going to weigh in on whether Peru or Chile has the right to claim exclusive ownership of pisco.  So which version of the Pisco Sour do I prefer?  My research indicates that the Peruvian version has egg white and bitters, but the Chilean version does not.  I love protein, so I'm going with Peru on this one.  Hope that doesn't make me persona non grata in Chile.


A Hacker's Cocktail? -- The Black Hat

A black hat like this should be worn by a gentleman with a suit, not by a hipster who think he's being ironic.
A black hat should be worn by a gentleman with a suit, not by a hipster who thinks he's being ironic (and doesn't understand the meaning of the word).

Hackers generally divide themselves into two camps -- white hats (those who use their skills for good) and black hats (those who do not).  Consider this dichotomy as a high tech version of the Taoist concept of yin and yang.

This cocktail is adapted from Sable Bar in Chicago:

2.25 ounces bourbon (Willett Pot Still always works)
.75 ounces super simple syrup
Juice from 1/4 a lemon
Dash of cinnamon
1 egg white
1-2 dashes Angostura bitters

One of my pairs of yin-yang cufflinks.
One of my pairs of yin and yang cufflinks.

Combine in shaker without ice (this is dry shaking), shake like you're penetrating your enemy's network, add ice (this is wet shaking), shake again like you're a particularly nasty piece of malware, then strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a dash or two of cinnamon.

Just so we're clear, I'm not a hacker.  My technological skills are hilariously limited.  If it wasn't for my lovely and very technologically capable wife, I probably still would be using a flip phone.  


Some Bitter Love -- Amaro Amore

As Valentine's Day is approaching, I had to post about a somewhat contrarian cocktail. Amaro amore literally means "bitter love" in Italian. Most versions of this cocktail have gin as the base spirit.  I'm not partial to most gins, so I adapted the Amaro Amore from something I saw on a Toronto bar's menu:

Drink this while listening to "Con Te Partiro" by Andrea Bocelli,  Or "I Hate Myself For Loving You" by Joan Jett.
Drink this while listening to "Con Te Partiro" by Andrea Bocelli. Or "I Hate Myself For Loving You" by Joan Jett.

1.5 ounces Averna
.75 ounces Campari
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
.75 ounces super simple syrup
1 egg white

Combine in a shaker without ice (this is dry shaking), shake with passion, add ice, shake again (this is wet shaking), then strain into a chilled glass.

True to its name, the only spirits in this cocktail are amari (bitters).  Averna is very good on its own.  Don't drink Campari on its own unless you're a masochist.  All of the seemingly disparate flavors combine nicely.  That's a fancy way of saying there's a lot going on in the Amaro Amore. It is an excellent after dinner drink (trust me on this).

So why the dry shake then the wet shake?  I'm not a scientist so you're not going to get some technical answer or explanation from me.  You do the double shake because of the egg white.  If you dry shake a cocktail that contains egg white before wet shaking it, you get something even frothier than you would with just a regular wet shake.  If the preceding sentence sounds vaguely dirty to you ...... then great minds think alike.


West Coast South American Protein Cocktail -- The Frisco Sour

No meal is complete without protein.  If for some reason you’re looking for a cocktail with protein, look no further.

This cocktail takes a little longer to make because of the number of ingredients, but the result is definitely worth the effort.  It combines a cocktail named for a great American city (San Francisco) with a cocktail that is a national treasure of Peru and Chile (the Pisco Sour).

A classic sign on the bar at Employees Only
A classic sign on the bar at Employees Only

I must give credit to Steve Schneider, Principal Bartender at Employees Only in New York, for this cocktail.  My wife and I had the privilege of meeting him last month.  We were discussing cocktails, and I mentioned the Frisco (see my earlier post).  He said he would make a Frisco Sour for me, but with all of the background noise I thought he said Pisco Sour. Once I heard what he really was saying, I was in.   Amusingly, we ran into each other the following week when my wife and I arrived at the Tales Of The Cocktail conference.

 

I tweaked Steve’s recipe to come up with the following:

Yes, you're reading the sign (located on my home bar) correctly
Yes, you're reading the sign (located on my home bar) correctly

2 ounces rye whiskey
2/3 ounces Benedictine DOM
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Juice from 1/4 lime
.33 ounces super simple syrup
2 egg whites (there’s your protein)

Combine all ingredients and shake without ice (this is dry shaking and will make the egg whites nice and frothy), add ice, shake again as if you're blasting through a set of exercises at the gym, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.   This recipe will make enough for two cocktails.

The Rocky Balboa version has four eggs, yolks included, instead of two egg whites.  Just kidding.  The concept of eggs in a glass reminds me of that scene in the first Rocky movie (a great film in my opinion).