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Thursday, August 10, 2006

SALMONELLA SURPRISE? OR JUST A REALLY GOOD DRINK?

I’ve ingested plenty of raw egg in my life (mostly via cookie dough, which I gobble like candy during baking sessions), and I’m happy to say that I am, as of yet, a salmonella virgin. Have I been extraordinarily lucky for the past three decades? Or is salmonella, perhaps, less of a threat than most of us assume? Trolling online for answers, I encountered an August, 2000 New York Times article that put the chance of an egg being contaminated with salmonella at 1 in 20,000. So there is a slight risk, but it’s a risk I can live with. (It should be noted, however, that the article did stress that children, the elderly, and others with compromised immune systems should never eat raw eggs.)

Now, this post is not about eating cookie dough—though I intend to continue that practice with abandon. The real reason I’m interested in raw eggs is for their use in drinks, an old-fashioned trick that seems to be enjoying a resurgence, thanks to the current popularity of classic cocktails. At the Pegu Club, a slick new bar in New York that takes its mixology very, very seriously, egg white is a component of many cocktails. The white provides body—just a slight viscosity—and a pleasantly foamy cap. Maybe I’m a reckless fool, but I believe it's well worth taking that 1 in 20,000 chance.

Give this drink—the Ramos Fizz—a try. It’s tangy, yet mellow from the cream, and the orange flower water gives it a distinct floral bouquet. And yes, you can omit the raw egg and it’ll taste fine, though it will lack body and the foamy head won’t be as smoothly integrated with the rest of the drink. A better idea: spring for pasteurized eggs.

RAMOS FIZZ

1 ½ oz. gin
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ teaspoon orange flower water
1 fresh egg white
1 oz. cream
Club soda

Combine all ingredients except for club soda in a shaker. Add ice. Shake vigorously for two minutes (it’s best to have at least one other person around, as the shaker will get too cold to handle for long). Pour drink into a chilled old-fashioned glass, with ice if you want. Top with club soda.

2 Comments:

Anonymous aajay said...

When I was a child (all right it was in the thirties) raw eggs were considered a health food. Sucked right from a hole in the shell, yum, yum-NOT!. Now, would my mother have fed me something which was bad for me?

1:03 PM  
Blogger Sarah Kiino said...

Yikes! I think I'll stick with the Ramos Fizz (though my mom would make sukiyaki when I was a kid, and we always dipped the meat in raw egg.)

2:09 PM  

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