Even after making this cocktail I still have to look up the spelling. And the pronunciation? That’s anyone’s guess. What I can say with certainty is that despite the seemingly endless list of ingredients this cocktail is worth making.
There was a lot of anticipation surrounding this drink, this being our first of the project, and having spent the better part of two weeks tracking down ingredients. Our provincial liquor stores seem to feel that curacao should be blue. This is perplexing to me – what about fresh tropical oranges suggests a synthetic blue hue? Call me a snob but I have yet to figure out why anyone would imbibe something that looks like, and probably tastes similar to, antifreeze. Luckily our friends at Legacy Liquor were able to help us out, providing us with the very last bottle “for quite some time” of Pierre Ferrard Ancienne Methode Dry Curacao. And wow, what a find! Made from curacao orange peels and a blend of spices the depth of flavor of this liqueur is starling, reminding me at once of Cointreau and Drambuie.
There was some debate over yellow versus green chartreuse. D wanted to start with the yellow, but I was a holdout for the green. Admittedly I had ulterior motives, green chartreuse is a major component of one of my favorite cocktails, The Last Word, and once we had a bottle in the house I’d be just a measure and a shake away from bliss. We settled on the green.
Ironically, after all our careful prep and procurement, our first batch of Almagoozlums contained no chartreuse at all. After photographing all the bottles D read out the ingredients as I measured, then we took turns shaking. We shook until our hands froze to the metal shaker then strained it into two crystal glasses we had gleefully obtained at an estate sale earlier in the week. The libation was a beautiful dark color with a frothy rim and a silky mouthfeel. It looked exactly like the picture in the book and we were very pleased with the taste. We both agreed it was worth the effort and started to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. It was only when I commented that the cocktail didn’t seem as boozy as I had imagined that we turned back to the recipe and realized that we had forgotten the chartreuse.
Always ones to correct the errors of our ways we started anew. Bazinga! Our first concoction had been pleasant, with notes of orange and some spice from the bitters, but the true Alamagoozlum is a knockout. It is at once citrusy, spicy, and woody. It’s definitely a sweeter style cocktail but with a boozy bite and sharpness from the spice. It has a luscious, creamy body, thanks to the egg white and the gomme syrup.
I should note here that we made our own gomme syrup. I would have cheated and made a rich simple syrup without the Gomme Arabic, but D was insistent that we do things properly. He tracked down the Acacia at a restaurant supply shop and put me in charge of the mixture. While we both doubted the recipe I used at times, the resultant syrup was thick and rich and well worth the effort.
The Alamagoozlum (serves 2-3)
- ½ egg white
- 2 ounces genever gin (we used Boomsma)
- 2 ounces water
- 1.5 ounces Jamaican rum (we used Appleton)
- 1.5 ounce Chartreuse (we used green)
- 1.5 ounces gomme syrup
- .5 ounce orange curacao (Pierre Ferrand is great)
- .5 ounce Angostura Bitters
Add the egg white to a large clean dry cocktail shaker. Shake long and hard. Add the remaining ingredients and ice. Shake again until frost coats the outside of the shaker. Strain into chilled cocktail glasses.