The history of eggs served as bar snacks can be traced back to the early 1800s. Offered as sustenance, these naturally portion-controlled snacks helped nourish patrons posted up at the counter. Offering your guests a few hard-boiled eggs was a cheap and easy way to fill empty tummies, not to mention a great strategy for (hopefully) preventing them from becoming sloppily drunk.
A year ago, Amanda Boucher, the head bartender at Pasdeloup, and I became fascinated with the idea of bar snacks and how they could be developed and paired with cocktails. Amanda shared an article with me about the history of pickled eggs and we decided to give them a try. Finding the perfect balance wasn't easy, as many test recipes ended up with incredibly acidic results, but eventually I came around to developing this successful recipe. Amanda then created a gin-and-beer-based cocktail to match and the "Eat me, Drink me" was born. It is now our signature cocktail.
Velvet Falernum is a sweet, citrusy, spiced liqueur often used to flavour Caribbean drinks. Here, it marries with the naturally herbaceous gin in the cocktail, and helps to link the spices and jalapeños used in the pickling liquid. Combined with the beer and a little lemon juice, the whole package makes for a delightful experience, clearing the palate and preparing you for your next bite.
When it comes to food and cocktail pairing, these two recipes were developed and balanced so that they could be consumed together. To best experience this interaction, start by taking a bite of the egg, followed by a sip of the drink, and then alternating between the two from there. Bonne dégustation!
PICKLED EGG: PICKLING SPICE
3 tablespoons black peppercorns
4 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1½ tablespoons whole allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 cinnamon stick, crushed
2½ cups white vinegar
2 cups water
2 tablespoons pickling spice
3 tablespoons fleur de sel
½ cup brown sugar, tightly packed
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
½ cup pickled jalapeños
2 tablespoons brine from pickled jalapeños
8 cups water
½ ounce (15 mL) Velvet Falernum
1 ounce (30 mL)
London Dry Gin
½ ounce (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
2½ ounces (75 mL) hoppy Pale Ale (locally brewed
PICKLED EGG: PICKLING SPICE
Combine peppercorns, mustard and coriander seeds and toast lightly in
a pan over medium-low heat, then grind coarsely with either a mortar and pestle, or a coffee grinder.
Place into a small container with a lid and mix in the remaining pickling ingredients.
Add all the ingredients to a medium-sized pot and heat to a boil. Lower temperature and continue to simmer for 12 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Prepare an ice bath with water and ice cubes in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Lower the temperature to a simmer and carefully spoon all the eggs into the water. Allow to cook gently for 10 minutes. Spoon the eggs into the ice bath and allow to cool completely.
Peel the eggs and place them in either a plastic dish or large glass jar, pouring the room-temperature brine over top. Lay a piece of plastic cling film over the surface to ensure the eggs stay submerged. Cover with a lid and refrigerate for 10 days before consuming. Eggs can be kept refrigerated for up to 1 month.
Add Velvet Falernum, gin and lemon juice to a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with Pale Ale.
Serve immediately accompanied by one pickled egg that has been sliced in half on the side.