Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More Ingredient Trouble For New York Cocktail World

First the Angostura shortage, now this.

Bret Thorn has the stunning scoop that the Department of Health has a problem with Audrey Saunders' Pegu Club using eggs in her drinks! An inspector stopped by the cocktail den last night and took a look-see at the menu. When he got to the part that warned patrons that some drinks, such as the Saunders signature the Earl Grey MarTEAni, use raw eggs, he went "Zoinks!" and told the bar owner that she would have to use pasteurized eggs in her cocktails from now on.

Not good news for the cocktail circle. Egg drinks, like flips and fizzes (including my beloved Ramos Gin Fizz), have come back in a big way in recent years, as mixologists have rediscovered classic cocktails from years back. Every haute cocktail list in the city worth it's salt has an egg cocktail or two on the menu. And they've been doing it for years. Where's the DOH been until now? Why enforce this rule now? Judging by the Pegu ruling, will every cocktail place have to cease and desist?

If so, that would be a terrible shame. Most bars that use eggs in drinks put a disclaimer on the menu warning of the possible (extremely small) health risks. It seems that should be enough for anyone. A patron can read the warning and then decide whether or not to take their chances.

1 comment:

Sam said...

Serving raw eggs has always been against New York City health code regulations. It's taught in the safety course. Heck, they did themselves a disservice by printing the warning. There is nothing in the city regulations stating that you can print a warning and get away with violating the health code.

The funny thing is that had they not printed the warning and did not make any of the raw egg cocktails in view of the inspector, there would have been no brouhaha.

Of course, perhaps the health code should be changed, but that's a different issue.