This “morning after” drink delivers great flavor any time of day
Happy New Year! Still feeling the effects of late-night revelry? We’ve got a restorative beverage for you.
Some say the Eye Opener Cocktail is the perfect pick-me-up after a night that ended in the early hours of the morning. Because it contains an egg yolk, some might call it a health drink, too.
We just consider it a fun drink with interesting flavor. And it’s a bit of a conversation starter – that is, if you’re up for conversation after that wild New Year’s Eve you celebrated.
Recipe: The Eye Opener Cocktail
These days, most mixed drinks are called cocktails. But back when cocktails were first being concocted (18th century or so), the “cocktail” handle referred specifically to drinks that were drunk in the morning, often as a restorative. Or something like that – there’s a lot of cocktail lore that’s more fiction than fact.
Anyway, the Eye Opener Cocktail definitely is in the “hair of the dog” camp. It’s supposed to perk you up after a night of over-enthusiastic imbibing. Because it contains an egg yolk, we suppose some folks (not us) might also consider it breakfast.
There are several cocktail recipes for the Eye Opener. This is the best of the breed, we think. It’s also the one that cocktail historian extraordinaire David Wondrich favors.
This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare and serves 1.
- 1½ ounces dark rum (see Notes)
- ½ teaspoon Grand Marnier (or other orange curaçao of choice)
- ½ teaspoon apricot liqueur (see Notes)
- 1 teaspoon grenadine (preferably Homemade)
- 1 egg yolk
- Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Don’t add ice. Cover and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds (see Notes).
- Add ice (cracked ice is best) to the shaker, then shake again for about 20 seconds.
- Strain the drink into a rocks (Old-Fashioned) glass or a cocktail glass (our preference).
- Why shake the drink first without ice (Step 1)? To help the egg yolk develop a silky, foamy texture. You can skip this step if you want, but shaking first without ice (and then again with ice) will make for a more voluminous drink.
- This drink traditionally is served in a rocks glass. But we think it works better in a cocktail glass.
- The Eye Opener usually isn’t garnished. We thought about adding a fried bacon garnish, but resisted.
- Eggs carry a slight, but real, risk of salmonella. So be careful about the egg you select for this drink. Use something as fresh as possible, and preferably one that is locally raised by a small producer (most of the salmonella problems are caused by “factory” raised eggs).
- BTW, the egg yolk doesn’t add much flavor to the drink. Rather, it provides a creamy mouth feel. And a bit of nutrition, of course. Kind of the original protein supplement.
- Speaking of protein supplements, eggs were a pretty frequent addition to malted milks and milk shakes in the first half of the 20th century. Or so we’ve been told.
- Another fun drinks tidbit about eggs: New York Egg Creams don’t include any egg at all. They’re just a combo of syrup (often chocolate), milk, and seltzer water.
- OK, enough about eggs. Let’s talk about booze. Dark rum provides most of the flavor in this drink (we use a dark rum with a moderate flavor, like Bacardi 8 or Cruzan). Grand Marnier (or other orange curaçao) provides a nice citrus nose. And apricot liqueur (essentially the same thing as apricot brandy) provides a delightful floral note.
- About apricot liqueur: Avoid the cheapies. It’s worth visiting a good liquor store to purchase a decent brand. We currently favor Rothman & Winter for drinks. Marie Brizard Apry is also terrific. But ask your friendly liquor store personnel for a recommendation if in doubt.
- Rothman & Winter apricot liqueur is relatively low proof. So once it’s open, we store it in the refrigerator to slow down oxidization.
- Our usual disclaimer: We’re noncommercial hobby bloggers and are not compensated for mentioning brands. We recommend what we like and use (and purchase with our own money).
- The Eye Opener originally was a morning drink. But we don’t drink in the morning (even a glass of wine at lunch often is pushing it for us). So we would recommend serving the Eye Opener as a late-afternoon tipple, preferably with a snack of some kind. Its flavor and texture also make it a nice after-dinner drink.
“We’ve had plenty of cocktails with egg whites,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “But not many with egg yolks. Other than eggnog, I guess.”
“Definitely an unusual cocktail ingredient for us,” I said. “But I love the texture it adds to this drink. Eggs-tremely nice.”
“So, you’re starting the new year with eggs-actly the same lousy jokes you ended last year with?” said Mrs K R. “How eggs-asperating!”
Mrs K R is a tough egg to crack, isn’t she?
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