Saturday, 12 January 2008


This Northern Italian, hazelnut liqueur, is a huge favourite of us Fizz, Flip and Fancy girls!

It was created by the Christian monks living in the hills of the Piedmont region, over 300 years ago. The bottle design is even a tribute to its origins – styled to look like a monk’s habit, with a rope belt.

This liqueur is created from a complex recipe of wild hazelnuts, cocoa, vanilla berries and other natural ingredients. The versatility of its taste makes it a perfect addition to any drink, suitable for all seasons. It also works well as an after-dinner drink in coffee.

Our favourite way to drink Frangelico is over ice, fresh lime juice and Belvedere vodka. An interesting discovery I made was to add milk to 30ml of Frangelico in an old fashioned glass, and Emma and I were extremely jealous when Alex was given a solid chocolate shot glass from which to have her Frangelico!

If you want to incorporate Frangelico into a cocktail, you could try a Spring Tonic:
- muddle 4-6 lime wedges and a sprig of mint in the glass half of a Boston shaker.
- Add 15ml Frangelio, 15ml Vanilla Liqueur, 30ml Apple Liqueur and ice.
- Shake and strain into a large Martini glass and top with soda.

Or, try muddling 4 physalis berries in the bottom of a low-ball glass, filling with crushed ice and then adding 50ml Frangelico. Divine.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

The Science Behind Egg Whites in Cocktails

Egg whites in cocktails act as an emulsifier, forging the independent ingredients together. They also change the texture of the cocktail as, when shaken, they produce a foam.

But first, here are the science basics you need to know:
- Egg white is largely protein.
- Proteins are made up of long chains of amino acids, which are similar to beads on a string.

Physically shaking the drink will break these bonds between the amino acids (and the different parts of them), denaturing the protein, and new bonds will be formed. Some amino acids are ‘water loving’ (hydrophilic) and attracted to water, and some are ‘water fearing’ (hydrophobic) and repelled by it. When the bonds are broken, the protein will uncurl, so the ‘water loving’ amino acids are near the water, and the ‘fearing’ are away from it, then new bonds are formed and the egg white has a different texture to the one it had before. Shaking will mix air into the egg whites and the new bonds hold will the air in place, creating a foam.

Without the addition of citrus, this foam would cave quickly. Adding citrus will change the pH of the egg whites. The pH is a measure of hydrogen ion concentration, the lower the pH, the more hydrogen ions. Lemon juice typically has a pH of around about 2.4, and egg whites, 7.7. Lowering the pH (by adding citrus, therefore increasing the hydrogen ion concentration) lowers the reactivity of the protein molecules, preventing a collapse of the foam.

Some time should be put into shaking cocktails containing egg whites, so expect to be shaking it for longer than you would a Cosmo. The longer you shake it for, the more of the structure of the egg whites you break up, and the more air you put into it, therefore the lighter the drink will become.

- Alex

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Speed Training

In a night club, its important to know the drinks off the top of our heads, and get them made quickly. As part of our cocktail training, we created a friendly competition – to make a cocktail, to perfection, in the least possible time.
The basic idea of speed training:
- one of us would select the cocktail to be made
- we each get a time period in which to learn (from memory!) how to make the cocktail
- start the timer!

For our first round of speed training we made Mojitos as they were rapidly gaining popularity in the club.
To make a Mojito you…
- muddle 3 lime wedges and 12.5ml sugar syrup in a high ball
- add the leaves from 3 sprigs of fresh mint and muddle with the back a bar spoon
- fill glass with crushed ice and 50ml Havana Club Especial
- ‘violate’ with the bar spoon
- top up with crushed ice and a dash of soda water
- garnish with a sprig of mint.
Our time scores were all less than 1min 40secs, a time that I am sure has now been improved upon with all our practice!

- Parysa
(Pic: Parysa and Alex making Mai Tais)