Thursday, May 9, 2013

Read a Book, Sip a Cocktail No. 21

Photo from
When I read The Great Gatsby in high school I was not thrilled at the assignment because after all it was an assigned book - one that I had to read, but after finishing it I was secretly in love with it. As a high school kid I could never admit I liked it, much less thought it was genius.  But next to To Kill a Mockingbird, it was probably my favorite "required" reading assignment prior to college and prior to reading for pleasure.  Then add to that the fascination with F. Scott and his wife Zelda and their beautiful, tormented, cut-short-lives, and well, I would have to say that the novel is always at the top of any of my best or most beloved reads.  In summary The Great Gatsby is about unfulfilled dreams. Jay Gatsby having reinvented himself in hopes of winning back his girl, Daisy Buchanan, dreams that he will regain her love, but also turn his "new money" into "old money". Daisy is stuck in an unhappy union with Tom who is unfaithful to her but not willing to let her go.  Even the narrator, Nick Carraway, who becomes enamored with the mysterious Jay Gatsby, is confounded at how little care is given after Gatsby's demise when not long before he had so many admirers as the enigmatic host of the most lavish and shining parties.  I was inspired by the two opposing locations Fitzgerald juxtaposes in the novel: East Egg and West Egg, and so I made a boozed-up egg nog completely from scratch.  Since the latest film adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan is coming out tomorrow, I thought this was also a fitting book and cocktail pairing. The movie looks so glitzy and full of reverie that I think this cocktail would be perfect as a companion to those day dreams and ritzy nights.  The taste is just sweet enough with a very smooth kick from the bourbon and the rum. The best part is the creaminess of the rich whipped milk and egg, which lend the drink an airy and indulgent feel. I can't wait to watch the latest film version of this great American novel. Now don't go on a toot and get zozzled daddy-o!

East West Egg Nog
1 large egg
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
2 oz heavy cream
1 oz bourbon
1 oz aged rum
2 1/2 oz whole milk
ground nutmeg

How to: Separate the white and the yolk from the egg and beat the egg white until soft peaks appear. Slowly add the sugar. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream and the egg yolk until thick. Add the bourbon and the rum to the cream and yolk mixture and then combine the two mixtures.  Add the milk and beat until soft peaks appear again.  Serve chilled with a sprinkle of nutmeg.  Double the ingredients to make a batch for two.  You can substitute the whole milk for 1 or 2% milk to make it lighter, or half and half to make it richer.

In the middle of beating the egg white

The nutmeg adds another dimension of flavor

"In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars." (Quote from The Great Gatsby)

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