The other day I was nosing through my copy of Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: From the Alamagoozlum to the Zombie 100 Rediscovered Recipes and the Stories Behind Them by Ted Haigh, a.k.a. Dr. Cocktail. I wanted to try something different, something that might take advantage of the various odd bits and ingredients I've accumulated over the years. At some point you stare at that bottle of obscure liqueur and wonder if it will ever get finished. After flipping around at random, I decided to start at the beginning, and realized that I had everything necessary to make the first one listed: The Alamagoozlum.
Haigh credits the recipe to The Gentleman's Companion written by Charles H. Baker, Jr. in 1939. Baker gave this cocktail the full name of "J. Pierpont Morgan's Alamagoozlum: the Personal Mix Credited to that Financier, Philanthropist, & Banker of a Bygone Era."
½ Egg White
2 oz. Gin
2 oz. Water
1½ oz. Rum
1½ oz. Green Chartreuse
1½ oz. Simple Syrup
½ oz. Orange Curaçao
½ oz. Angostura Bitters
Combine everything with ice and shake it, shake it, shake it like a Polaroid picture. As with any egg white-based cocktail, it takes a lot of effort, and generally you know you're getting there when the tinkle of ice hitting metal turns into a dull thud, meaning that the contents have become one thick, foamy mass. This is very strong, and will serve two or three, but I'd recommend splitting it among even more. The flavor is interesting, but it's not something that you can drink much of, and given the long list of ingredients, you might as well share it with several people. On top of that, egg white cocktails tend to get sort of nasty as they warm up, and this one is so strong that it's difficult to finish a normal serving before it becomes funky.
It ends up tasting like a chocolate soda, which is amusing as it contains no chocolate. The dominant flavors are provided by the Chartreuse and the solid half ounce of bitters. As most of you know, I love bitters, but only a few drops at a time. This quantity provides a stinging, almost medicinal bite to the cocktail. I can't exactly recommend it unless you're just curious or enjoy saying the word "Alamagoozlum!" out loud. There's too much going on, and I can't imagine how many of these you'd have to drink before developing a taste for it. And then you're stuck with loving a cocktail that very few friends or bartenders would be willing to make for you or join you in consuming.
P.S. It is the most unusual shade of burnt siena, a color I've never had the chance to use as a descriptor since first getting a 64 box of crayons as a kid. Thanks, Crayola!