Halloween is my favorite time of year. Every October Tracy and I indulge in as much spooky fun as we can, and that usually means a full month of horror movies, an annual pumpkin-carving party with friends, and some sort of masquerade event. The month then culminates in an all-night horror movie marathon on Halloween night. This year we also celebrated the bounty of Fall vegetables with butternut squash & pear soup, homemade rolls, and pumpkin bread for dessert. But enough about food. For drinks, I always pick out a topical cocktail that matches our Halloween state of mind. In the past we have had Corpse Reviver No. 2s or Zombies, but this year I couldn't pass up the Alamagoozlum. Even the name evokes Halloween—perhaps it could even be some magician's curse word.
I read about the Alamagoozlum on Sloshed! last year around Halloween. It also can be found among the many gems in Ted Haigh's Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. As far as I can tell, the original transcriber of this fabulous libation is the one and only Charles Baker. This drink is downright zany, calling for many obscure, powerful ingredients and allowing them to cohabitate in one confined area, but the composition is truly delightful, like pie in a glass. And check out those bitters. If I had remembered this drink this summer it could have fit into my series of posts on bitters! But, no regrets—this drink fits well with my Halloween theme and the flavors also highlight the warm spice flavors of Autumn.
2 ounces genever
2 ounces water
1 1/2 ounces Jamaican rum
1 1/2 ounces yellow or green chartreuse
1 1/2 ounces simple syrup
1/2 ounce orange curacao
1/2 ounce Angostura bitters 1/2 egg white
Dry shake all ingredients. Add ice and shake long and hard. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Note: this makes 2 large or 3 small cocktails.
Note on Ingredients: I used the Boomsma Junge genever though the Bols genever has a stronger flavor and works really well in this drink. Also, I chose green chartreuse over the mellow yellow, and Appleton served as my Jamaican rum. I also substituted triple sec for the curacao.
First of all I can't help but remarking on the color—that deep brownish red really lets you know there are a ton of bitters hanging out in your glass. Also, considering that the recipe only called for half an egg white for two drinks, there was still quite a bit of foam. The bitters are partially responsible; both the Trinidad Sour and the Alabazam have quite a bit of foam and neither one includes eggs. The herbal chartreuse and the cloves and cinnamon of the Angostura were easily detectable in the aroma. And yes, that is exactly when you realize just how thirsty you are. As I descended through the froth, I first tasted the maltiness of the genever mingling with the spiciness of the bitters. This drink had a very rich mouth feel and was a bit sweet, though nowhere near cloying. As the drink warmed up, the chartreuse dominated each sip and lingered long after, and the juniper notes seemed to spring to life. And, though a Zombie might seem more topical, it was the perfect drink to accompany Dawn of the Dead.