I know I shouldn’t really talk about cigarettes and food in the same breathe. But one sniff the “Allspice Flip” cocktail at Zinc (New Haven) immediately transported me to my junior year of high school, when my older (senior) friend Sarah smoked Djarum clove cigarettes and listened to Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark’s Motion and Heart. She was to me the epitome of “cool” and the scent of cloves always makes me feel like it is fall in Connecticut and Sarah is smoking a clove cigarette and driving her parents’ car and we are so cool, and so adult and so free. The rum-based St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram in Zinc’s “Allspice Flip” is flavored by the dried berry of the Pimenta dioica tree, known as “Allspice” because its fragrance and flavor are reminiscent of cinnamon,nutmeg, and most powerfully, cloves. The smell and the taste were sublime.
The top of the cocktail was beautifully, luxuriously covered with a frothy cloud of egg white, garnished with a freshly ground sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. This spice combination not only added flavor, but- as it sank slightly into the cloud created a pleasing visual contrast to the stark white foam.
Sipping past the top, the cocktail’s primary ingredient was unmistakably Normandy’s potent apple brandy, Calvados. I first encountered Calvados during my junior year of college, which I spent in Paris. My friend Zoe’s grandparents, Warren and Jean, had lived near St. Sulpice since the end of Word War II , when Warren worked for The Marshall Plan. From their American in Paris household freely flowed Roblechon, Beaujolais, couscous– and on special nights - Calvados. Warren served his Calvados neat, and it never failed to make my head whirl.
In the “Allspice Flip,” mixed with an apple cider reduction, its bite was tempered. And like Barcelona‘s “Bourbon Spice Rack” and 116 Crown‘s “Elm City Herbal Tea“(the first two cocktails in this series), fresh lemon brightened the drink, and gave it a whisper of spring. An ice-cold cocktail for winter, with the “cool” warmth of cloves.
Zinc; New Haven, CT
2 oz Daron Calvados
3/4 oz apple cider reduction
1/2 oz Allspice Dram
1/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1 pasteurized egg white
Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
Shake vigorously for 5-7 seconds.
Strain into a champagne flute If done properly, a thick froth should form at the top of the glass (the harder you shake, the frothier the drink)
Dust the top with a mixture of grated cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper