Saratoga Brace Up –  Jerry Thomas

One tablespoon of fine white sugar

Two dashes of bitters

Four dashes of lemon or lime juice

Two dashes of absinthe

One fresh egg

One wineglass of brandy

Two or three lumps of ice

Shake up thoroughly, strain into another glass, and fill it up with seltzer water
I’ve just finished reading ‘The Soda Fountain’ by the guys behind Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain, which has several fascinating chapters on the history behind one of America’s institutions. It contains my favourite passage on the inventor of the worlds favourite cola ‘Pemberton, a self-starter who cured his own addiction to morphine with the dubious help of cocaine’, the rest of the book is no less interesting. Being a little alien to this history and its drinks the idea of an Egg Cream appealed and became even more interesting when I realised how easy it could be to make, and that it doesn’t include eggs or cream. The classic recipe goes

1 part milk

3 parts seltzer/soda water (chilled)

½ part syrup

And if you add it in the above order it ends up looking like the image below on the left. My only warning would be to cut right back on the syrup, I used a bar syrup and it was way too sweet. In the chapter on this it talks about the origins of egg cream, and how it started appearing around the turn of the 20th century, and that the egg was a substitute for the more expensive milk at the time, and somehow the name evolved from this.

Looking at the recipe for the Saratoga Brace up (one of several Saratoga name themed drinks) it seems that the egg and seltzer recipe was an old one, and I wonder if milk was just a much easier, quicker way of achieving the effect.

And this is a great drink, I loved it. It’s a great combination of creamy from the egg, yet light from the soda, and the rich cognac lifter by the lightness of absinthe and citrus. The froth on top gives it great texture. This has been an excellent find.