Aside from the tongue-twister of a name, this drink nearly always raises a few eyebrows when the recipe appears. Taken from the pages of Charles H. Baker, Jr.’s 1939 classic The Gentleman’s Companion or Around the World with Jigger, Beaker and Flask, Baker described this cocktail as
“J. Pierpont Morgan’s Alamagoozlum: the Personal Mix Credited to that Financier, Philanthropist & Banker of a Bygone Era.”
(Which also illustrates the colorful narrative that runs throughout The Gentleman’s Companion.) There is no known documentation of J.P. Morgan enjoying this cocktail, but most great cocktails also have great stories and the Alamagoozlum is certainly worthy of a tall tale or two.
As you peruse the list of ingredients, I’m sure there will be some alarm: “Genever, Chartreuse, egg white and half an ounce of Angostura bitters? *boggle* Lady, what are you smoking?”
I know, it sounds crazy. It sounds insane, bordering on awful. But! For those of you who are willing to take the risk, or who look at this recipe and think it sounds just crazy enough to be good, you will be rewarded with a complex, unique and ultimately delicious drink. And if you’re in the market for a drink to serve daring guests at a Halloween fête, there is perhaps no more interesting and entertaining drink to serve.
2 oz genever gin
2 oz water
1½ oz Jamaican rum
1½ oz yellow or green Chartreuse
1½ oz simple syrup
½ oz orange curaçao
½ oz Angostura bitters
½ egg white
Yield: 2 large or 3 small cocktails
Shake very hard over ice and strain into chilled cocktail glasses.
Yes, it’s a strange mish-mash of ingredients and it has a faint Christmas flavor courtesy of the Angostura. And, well, it mixes malty genever and herbal Chartreuse and raw egg—but the best part of the Alamagoozlum is that it is challenging as well as delicious. It has spice and intrigue, loads of complexity and will definitely spark interest and conversation. And if you don’t eat eggs or if you’re just uncomfortable with using raw egg, you can leave it out. You won’t get the foam on top and the drink won’t have the same texture, but the flavor of the drink will be unaffected.