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Egg Cream

from The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home by Nick Zukin
Egg Cream

2 cups whole milk
48 ounces chilled seltzer or club soda
1 cup chocolate syrup

This and many other wonderful recipes may be found in Nick Zukin's
The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home


This iconic deli drink includes neither egg nor cream. Commonly credited to Louis Auster, a Jewish immigrant who ran a candy store and soda fountain on the Lower East Side prior to the turn of the twentieth century, the egg cream is a simple concoction of seltzer water, chocolate syrup, and milk. So, what's the deal with the name? Gil Marks speculates that it comes from the foamy, egg white-like head that resulted when seltzer was squirted at high pressure from a soda siphon into a chocolate milk-filled glass. Alternative theories abound. Fox's U-Bet is the standard brand of syrup for an egg cream, though real chocolate syrup (as opposed to chocolate-flavored), such as Dagoba, produces a better-tasting drink.

Pour 1/2 cup milk in the bottom of a tall soda glass (narrow at the bottom, wide on top), filling it less than one-third of the way. Add seltzer to the glass until the frothy mixture fills the glass to about an inch below the rim. Add 1/4 cup of the chocolate syrup to the glass.

Angle a long spoon from one side of the glass's rim to the opposite side of the glass's bottom. Use a rapid up-and-down movement with the spoon while slowly rotating the bottom of the glass with your other hand to mix the chocolate into the milk without stirring, which will ruin the soda's traditional layered appearance. Continue until the lumps of chocolate syrup in the bottom of the glass are fully incorporated and a 1 - to 3-inch frothy white head crowns the rich chocolate brown soda below. Add enough additional seltzer to raise the head to the rim of the glass. Repeat for the remaining three sodas.

It's best to consume egg cream without a straw so that the liquid below and the foamy top mix with every sip.

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