Friday Night Cocktail: East India with pineapple-spice foam

Although it might sound a little strange at first, the idea of incorporating foam into a cocktail is an old one. Many recipes for sours include an egg white that, when shaken with the other ingredients, froths up to a nice head of foam in the glass, and smooths out the texture of the drink. One of the major classic cocktails, the Ramos Gin Fizz, is renowned in large part for its characteristic egg-white-and-cream foam, and the trouble it takes to produce it.

In more recent times, it’s become fashionable to take the foam out of the shaker, and put it into a whipped cream siphon. By removing some of the ingredients from the drink recipe and reincorporating them separately as a foam, you can layer the flavours and create a more complex drinking experience. A good example is the Vessel 75 (and, a little more esoterically, the Mai Tai 3000), and more and more cocktail books are including recipes for foams. The East India cocktail with pineapple-spice foam shown here is taken from Dale DeGroff’s The Essential Cocktail. I’m not going to share the recipe for the foam – for that, you’ll have to borrow or buy the book – but I will share a recipe for the East India itself, a classic that dates back to about 1882.

How to make an East India Cocktail

  • 2 oz. Cognac
  • 1 teaspoon raspberry syrup or raspberry liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes maraschino liqueur

Combine ingredients in an ice-filled mixing glass and stir for a slow count of 20. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist and a grating of nutmeg.

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  1. Summer syrup series: Raspberry syrup and the Knickerbocker | Kayahara.ca - July 29, 2011

    [...] references to raspberry syrup… and none to grenadine. It’s an indispensable ingredient in the East India Cocktail and Clover Club, and makes a pretty fine substitute for grenadine in many other recipes, [...]

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