101 Best New Cocktails: Colleen Bawn Knickebein by Frederic Yarm, Loyal Nine, Cambridge, MA, USA

by Gaz Regan · Monday, May 25th, 2015 · 101 Best New Cocktails, 101 Best New Cocktails 2015

Colleen Bawn Knickebein

Frederic Yarm, Loyal Nine, Cambridge, MA, USA

“I was introduced to the Colleen Bawn by Misty Kalkofen at Green Street Grill before her days at Drink and beyond; this gem from Edward Spencer’s The Flowing Bowl quickly became one of my favorite flips. The concept of Knickebeins—quirky layered drinks taken in a prescribed methodology as an almost rite of passage given the unbroken egg yolk aspect—came to me via John Gertsen at No. 9 Park. I thought, ‘What if you could combine the wonders of a flip with the mystery of a pousse-café in the form of a Knickebein?’ Then I made it and wondered how could something be this awesome!” Frederic Yarm

colleen bawn knickebein - Copy1 egg

15 ml (.5 oz) Bénédictine

15 ml (.5 oz) yellow Chartreuse

15 ml (.5 oz) straight rye whiskey

Freshly grated cinnamon and nutmeg, as garnish

Separate the egg, being careful not to break the yolk. Beat the egg white into a stiff meringue (my preferred method is a shaker tin with a balled up Hawthorne strainer spring).

Layer the Bénédictine and then the Chartreuse using the back of a spoon or the flat end of a Bonzer spoon handle (the densities are close enough that this part might be difficult or at least a little blurred transition-wise). Carefully float the yolk using the bowl of a cocktail spoon. Layer the whiskey as done with the liqueurs. Top with meringue and add the garnish.

Drink in the methodology prescribed by Leo Engel in 1878 in his book American and Other Drinks:

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.

gaz sez: Fred sent this recipe to me after I asked, on Facebook, for new Pousse-Café style drinks, and I was so taken with this formula that I decided to add it to my 101BNC list this year.  Let’s just say that the combination of Bénédictine, Chartreuse, and rye, is right up my alley.

Fred seems to have a bit of a fixation on Knickebeins! And it’s a category of drinks, created, as far as I know, by Leo Engel, author of American & Other Drinks and bartender at the American Bar in the Criterion Hotel in London, that I’m guilty of ignoring for the most part, but this variation is simply stunning. And it’s bound to impress guests. I’d better take another looks at these Knickebeins.

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