Classic (Game) Cocktail of the Week: West of a White House
> You see a collection of cocktail ingredients. Command? _
Some people like to unwind over the weekend by listening to favorite podcasts; others prefer to relaxing with an alcoholic libation. We figure: Why not both? With the Classic (Game) Cocktail column, we'll offer weekly recommendations on cocktail recipes to accompany our most recent podcast episode.
Disclaimer: Please drink responsibly, and only if you are of legal age (or have permission).
Classic (Game) Cocktail #7: West of a White House
We explored Zork this week — explored literally, thank you very much — so I wanted to put together a drink that ties into the classic text adventure's iconography. I considered something Grue-themed (pitch-dark and probably coffee-based) but decided to go with a less intimidating sight. One everyone who's ever loaded a game of Zork has encountered: The white house.
This one's more of a dessert cocktail. Kind of. It's slightly sweet, but not cloyingly so.
- 2 oz. American dry gin (e.g. Aviation, Death's Door)
- 1 oz. white creme de cacao
- 1/2 oz. whole-fat milk
- white of 1 egg
- 2 dashes Aztec chocolate bitters
My goal was to make the whitest cocktail possible (in the chromatic sense; the whitest cocktail possible in the cultural sense would probably be, I dunno, a Cosmo or a Pimm's Cup). That means clear liquors. The chocolate bitters do add a hint of off-white to the mixture, but the drink really needs that extra element to bring it all together. Please understand.
- Crack the egg and separate it, using only the whites. Discard or find some other use for the yolk. Add the whites to a cocktail mixer filled with ice.
- Add the other ingredients.
- Shake vigorously for a minute or longer, until the ice in the mixer has practically disintegrated.
- Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a delicate clockwork egg (optional).
This is a rich yet overall quite mild cocktail. Despite the chocolate element, it doesn't come off like, say, some sugar-saturated dessert cocktail you'd find on a fast-casual restaurant's bar menu. The gin helps ground the flavor, and the hint of chili in the bitters gives it just the tiniest little bite to cut through the frothy egg and milk. This won't be a drink to everyone's tastes, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well it turned out.
- I had to do some tinkering to find the right balance for this one. I strongly recommend using an American dry gin. London dry doesn't have enough earthy bite to cut through the egg and cream, and American new is too variable and therefore too likely to have potentially contradictory flavor notes (e.g. aniseed). American dry tends to be heavy on cinnamon and cardamom, which help ground the flavor profile while complementing the chocolate.
- Definitely don't use vodka. Standard vodka doesn't have enough flavor to provide balance, and flavored vodkas will make it taste too perfumed.
- You can use half-and-half or full cream instead of milk, but you don't want to go overboard. Less is more with that ingredient. A dab'll do ya.
- If you really wanna create a Grue cocktail instead, I'd probably go with 1 shot espresso, 1 oz. whisky, 1 oz. Kahlua, and… I dunno. A dash of Benedictine, or Absinthe, or something.
- Next time: A balm to soothe your tears when you fail to lock down a Super NES Classic Edition.