Monday, December 19, 2011

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Drinking Advocaat

I think it is better always 
to have a drink before people arrive 
and that way, 
you’re just a bit more mellow...

~ Nigella Lawson

Now that we’ve established some semblance of a nomenclature and etymology for the egg liqueur advocaat, three questions arise:
  1. Who makes the stuff?
  2. Once you’ve got it, what do you do with it?
  3. If you can’t find it, is there an easy way to make it at home?
Last things first: yes, there’s an easy way to make advocaat at home. My own recipe with fresh eggs and VSOP brandy makes 1.4 liters of about 37-proof egg liqueur (see below).

If you’re put off by the prospect of making your own, though, three main brands are common enough to find on the shelf at your local boozery or through online vendors ; Bols (from Holland), Verpoorten (Germany), and Warninks (made by DeKuyper Royal Distillers in Holland). A bottle of any of these is readily available for $17-28.

Just as eggnog and even bourbon find their ways into a variety of desserts from cookies to cake, so, too, does advocaat. Most simply, it’s drizzled over ice cream. It’s also incorporated into cream fillings for cakes and pastries, sauce (just add it to vanilla sauce), folded into tiramisu, paired with baked fruit, and hundreds of other desserts.

In its drinking form (rather than the thicker, slightly cooked, incarnation), advocaat is indistinguishable from German eierlikör. One could easily slap alternate labels on the same product for different markets. Our European colleagues have been guzzling the infamous Snowball made with these egg liqueurs for some time. Popular — or at least well-known — in the UK, it’s simply one part advocaat to two parts lemonade (British lemonade, i.e., Sprite, 7-Up, or bitter lemon soda). Here, Nigella Lawson bangs one out:

Recipes for homemade advocaat typically call for anywhere from half to a full liter of alcohol per dozen eggs. I take a middle path with slightly fewer eggs and split the difference on the booze. The result? More boozy than some, not as much as others.

Here’s how we make drinking advocaat around these parts. For a thicker, spoonable, version, use whole eggs, ditch the milk, and heat the mixture in a double boiler.

The sweetened condensed milk is not traditional — or even strictly necessary — but it does creep up in some Dutch recipes. I like the additional smoothness and slightly cooked taste it lends to the finished drink, but feel free to omit it. Should you do so, add up to an additional ¾ cup of sugar. Likewise, if you just can’t get enough liquor inside you, this recipe will easily admit another 250ml/1 cup of 40% abv alcohol.

Rowley’s Authentic San Diego Advocaat

10 egg yolks
250g/1.25 c sugar
3-4 gratings of fresh nutmeg
A pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
750ml brandy, neutral grain spirits, or vodka

Strain the egg yolks through a medium sieve into a large mixing bowl to remove the chalazae (those repugnant, curled little white cords that attach the yolk to the shell). Add the sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Whisk gently to combine.

Stir in the vanilla extract, sweetened condensed milk and alcohol. Whisk vigorously, then pour into sterilized bottles. Seal. It's drinkable now, but better after two weeks in the refrigerator.

Makes about 1400ml of 18% abv advocaat.

  • Clear spirits such as vodka or NGS will not affect the color of the drink noticeably. Many people prefer them for this reason. I use aged brandy which lends a slightly darker cast to the drink.
  • Hold me in contempt if you will, but I use Paul Masson Grande Amber VSOP for this. Best brandy in the world? No, of course not. One of the best you'll ever get for under $10 per bottle, though. Recently, I scored a 750ml bottle at a local pharmacy for $8. Love those Christmas liquor sales...
  • Clean egg yolks and whites off kitchen and cocktail gear with an initial rinse of cool water. Hot water can cook the stuff and make it much harder to remove.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you. This is pretty much the recipe my German father in law used to use. He used 12 yolks, and measured the sugar and brandy from the condensed milk tin. I knew there was something else in the recipe, and finally found it. Thank you so much.