Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Jerry Thomas Project The Coffee Cocktail (The Thomas Tawny)

So today I made the coffee cocktail. A quick note on Thomas’s cocktail names - he may have been a real showman with diamond buttons and flame-throwing antics, however his ability to name his creations has much to be desired. Thomas even says, “The name of this drink is a misnomer, as coffee and bitters are not to be found among its ingredients, but it looks like coffee when it has been properly concocted, and hence probably its name.”
Well if it supposed to look like coffee when it is properly concocted, I can tell you right now that I didn’t make it right. The drink gets powdered white sugar, 1 fresh egg, 1 large wine-glass or port wine, 1 pony of brandy, and 3 lumps of ice. I really wasn’t that keen to put the entire egg in the drink and I thought maybe just to put the white in, but I wanted to follow Thomas’s recipes so in spite of my uneasiness about dropping what is baby chick embryo food, I decided to just close my eyes and just dump it in without further ado. I didn’t have powdered sugar, so I put some sugar in the robot coupe to make a very fine powdered sugar. After shaking I topped with some grated nutmeg.
My drink came out a very pleasant dulled violet color, a color I don’t see often when mixing drinks. Most likely because I don’t use port wine for anything, although a couple of years ago I did a Manhattan with port - but there wasn’t enough in the drink to turn it Spartan purple.
The egg made the drink extremely frothy and gave the libation a viscous quality. I think if I made it again, I would just stick with the white and omit the yolk. Otherwise, the drink was quite tasty with nice dark currant and toffee notes (I used Taylor Fladgate 20 year). I couldn’t taste the nutmeg that well, I would be tempted to make a nutmeg syrup and omit the sugar and nutmeg and impart the flavors that way. I think the nutmeg might shine a little more and add some depth to the cocktail.
Anyhow, one worth trying.
Here is my updated recipe of the Coffee Cocktail to which I am also renaming

The Thomas Tawny
1 teaspoon nutmeg syrup
4 ounces tawny port
1 ounce brandy
1 egg white

Shake vigorously to incorporate the ingredients together and strain into a cocktail glass. Preferably one that has some character.

Nutmeg Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 teaspoons ground nutmeg
Bring to a boil while stirring, take off the heat and let cool


  1. Yeah, that doesn't sound like it would like coffee at all!

  2. I prefer the original formula, but I find verry interesting your nutmeg syrup. Also I use only powdered sugar because help the drink to become more frothy, but who can stop me to make a nutmeg powdered sugar. ;)