Cocktail Recipes For A Post-Shavuot ‘Eye-Opener’ | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Cocktail Recipes For A Post-Shavuot ‘Eye-Opener’

Cocktail Recipes For A Post-Shavuot ‘Eye-Opener’

Morning cocktails, the perfect pick-me-up for that hard night’s next day.

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It’s 9 on Shavuot morning: After being up all night you’ve had only a few hours’ sleep, but now it’s time to start the day. How should you fully wake yourself up? Might I suggest a morning cocktail?

These days, serving liquor with breakfast is seen as taboo, as popular culture suggests that it’s “indecent” to drink, particularly hard liquor, before noon. However, from colonial days until well into the 20th century, liquor was a staple of the breakfast table, and for many the liquid “eye-opener” was a regular part of one’s morning ablutions. 

The morning drink came in many forms: While it was most often a simple shot of rum or whiskey, from the early days of the Republic there were always those who required a more genteel and sophisticated morning potation. For instance, John Bernard, an English actor who toured the U.S. during the first decade of the 19th century, recorded in his book, “Retrospections of America,” a visit to a Virginia farmer who daily “breakfasted on coffee, eggs, and hoe-cake, concluding it with ... a stiff glass of mint sling [i.e., mint julep].” And by the end of that century, there were a whole slew of complex mixed drinks created just for quaffing in the morning.

Morning cocktails are generally not designed to be slowly sipped, but rather to be downed in a few brief gulps. The result can be invigorating. They also tend to come with some useful protein in the form of raw egg, which will also act as an emulsifier, giving the drink a smooth, foamy texture. So in honor of Shavuot we provide you recipes for three classic, easy-to-make morning cocktails, any of which should brighten your festivities.

 L.A. Foodie/Flickr Creative Commons


The Morning Glory Fizz

The recipe for this delightful Scotch-based fizz is closely based on one found in the pages of the 1888 edition of Harry Johnson’s “Bartenders’ Manual.” Johnson was then one of a growing number of New York’s celebrity bartenders. At that time he ran what was probably the best dive bar in Manhattan, Little Jumbo’s in the Bowery, where he likely invented this drink.

•  ¼ cup of blended Scotch Whisky (Famous Grouse works well here)
•  1 tbsp. of lemon juice
•  1½ tsp. of lime juice
•  ½ tsp. of absinthe (Lucid) or pastis (Pernod)
•  4 tsp. of superfine sugar 
•  1 egg white

Put all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake well for a full minute. Open the shaker and add about a cup of ice cubes. Shake for another full minute and then strain into a chilled tumbler. Top with a splash of chilled club soda, seltzer, or sparkling mineral water.  As Johnson notes in his instructions, this drink “must be drank [sic] as soon as prepared, so not as to lose the effect of it.”   

The Gloom-Lifter

This Irish whiskey cocktail is based on a recipe found in A.S. Crockett’s 1935 “Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book.” Crockett, one of the leading newspapermen of his day, had been a habitué of what was then New York’s most famous barroom. When Prohibition shuttered the doors of the Waldorf-Astoria Bar, Crockett managed to get his hands on (and later publish) the notebook kept behind the bar in which generations of Waldorf-Astoria bartenders had recorded their recipes.  

•  ¼ cup of Irish Whiskey (Powers and Bushmills would be good choices)
•  2 tsp. of Cognac or Israeli brandy 
•  2 tbsp. of lemon juice
•  2 tbsp. of raspberry syrup (Kedem would be my recommendation)
•  1 egg white

Put all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake well for a full minute. Open the shaker and add about a cup of ice cubes. Shake for another full minute, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Drink immediately.

The Eye-Opener

In late-19th and early-20th centuries, numerous recipes for the “Eye-Opener” cocktail were published. A brief survey of these varying recipes reveals the only thing that they all had in common was that they were made with both hard liquor and egg yolks. The following modern variant is my favorite version of the drink, and is  closely based on a recipe from cocktail historian David Wondrich: 

•  3 tbsp. of dark rum (Bacardi 8-year-old would work well in this drink) 
•  ½ tsp. of Cointreau 
•  ½ tsp. of apricot flavored brandy (DeKuyper and Herman Jansen are the best kosher choices)
•  1 tsp. of grenadine
•  1 egg yolk

Put all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake well for a full minute. Open the shaker and add about a cup of ice cubes.  Shake for another full minute, and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Drink immediately.


  • Please use fresh citrus juice (juiced no more than 48 hours in advance) in the above drinks. After about two days, lemon and lime juices really start to lose their vibrancy. Do not use bottled juice.  
  • Only use a grenadine that contains actual pomegranate juice. To make your own grenadine, thoroughly mix 1 tbsp. of Pom Wonderful (or similar) pomegranate juice with 1 tsp. of either Lyle’s Golden Syrup or Liquid Sugar in the Raw.  
  • Regarding eggs, for those who are concerned with ingesting raw egg, please note that many supermarkets sell eggs that are pasteurized in the shell.  
  • To rapidly chill a cocktail glass or tumbler, simply fill it with ice water before starting to make the cocktail and empty out the water when you are ready to pour the cocktail into the glass.
  • And one final note — while all of these cocktails are smooth and easy to drink, resist the temptation to have more than one. For most imbibers, more than an ounce or two of liquor will cease to be invigorating and start to be intoxicating. Instead, follow the first cocktail with a cup (or three) of strong coffee.

Gamliel Kronemer writes the Fruit of the Vine kosher wine column for the paper. 

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