If you're into thinkin' and drinkin'

Episode 18: Go Big or Go Home – Alamagoozlum

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With this episode, we’re going back to the front of the book to a cocktail we’ve done previously, but as we continue the mission to convert all of the previous episodes to the new format, we learn a lot more about these bygone beverages and have a ton of fun in the process.

The name alone fills one with excitement.  What is it?  It sounds jungley, or rather it sounds like a name given by Europeans for something coming from Africa.  Is it a drink favored by big game hunters of the 1920’s?  Is it a drink containing a liqueur extracted from the intestines of baboons?

No, no, no…it’s the Alamagoozlum.  It does however glean one of its ingredients from Africa…gomme syrup from the ever popular acacia tree.  Gomme syrup is essentially that ubiquitous ingredient gum Arabic in liquid form.  We’re all familiar with gum from reading ingredient lists on our food packaging and wondering why the hell there is gum in our mac & cheese.  But what many of us do not know is that the favorite giraffe-snack tree that runs this gum as its sap is the stuff that nightmares are made of.  Festooned with inch long thorns and swarming with stinging ants, the imagination revels with all of the sadistic entertainments it can provide, but instead it makes a really good emulsifier in this cocktail.

It’s an enormous drink reputed, but in no way substantiated, to be a favorite of early 20th century banker and financier JP Morgan.  Our researcher, Jason Kruse, goes into the “why” this story is unlikely, but comes up short discovering the origins of this monster.

And monster it is!  Containing 10 oz of liquid Michael mixed one drink for us and split it four ways.  And it’s loaded with mouthfeel

Below is the ingredient list:

  • 2 oz genever gin
  • 2 oz water
  • 1½ oz Jamaican rum
  • 1½ oz yellow or green Chartreuse
  • 1½ oz gomme syrup
  • ½ oz orange curaçao
  • ½ oz Angostura bitters
  • ½ egg white

And it was an amazing drink.  Granted love of food and drink is always a subjective enterprise, but all of us agreed that this cocktail was a brilliant mixture that balanced a sense of exotic spices with European herbal traditions.  Not too sweet but also not too bitter, and for a nice change, not relying heavily on citrus juices like many of these old cocktails do, this drink made me tingle.

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Transition music: Cephalopod by Kevin MacLeod
Closing Music: Bubble Gum by Miss Emma

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