Holiday Cocktail Countdown #12: Taste's Dear Elisabetta

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Like any red-blooded American, Gut Check uses liquid medication to cope with holiday stress. Not only does a good winter cocktail make it possible to tolerate family members, say, inquiring about your procreation plans, it helps keep you warm, too. From now until Christmas, we're calling upon local drink-slingers to suggest great cocktails to get you through the season. Some of them are holiday-themed, some traditional, some not so much, but they all share one common thread: delicious potency.

Shannon Ponche finishes Taste's holiday cocktail with a fireball of Angostura bitters and rum. - Holly Fann
Holly Fann
Shannon Ponche finishes Taste's holiday cocktail with a fireball of Angostura bitters and rum.
"This is a great drink to have before you go to your in-laws for a visit, and you can quote me on that," says Ted Kilgore, mixologist at Taste (4584 Laclede Avenue; 314-361-1200).

As Shannon Ponche, another bartender, starts to prepare the drink, Kilgore tells us about the winter specialty cocktail that he recently devised and placed on the menu: "This is called Dear Elisabetta. It's a flip, which contains an entire egg."

Ponche pours small dribbles from several exotic-looking bottles into a shaker and gives it a very reserved swirl -- an unexpected move at a place where there is usually aerobic shaking going on behind the bar. Then, after cracking a fat white egg into the mix, she breaks into a truly efficacious shake.

"You really gotta get a good froth," explains Kilgore.

Ponche pours the drink into a little glass punch cup. It looks creamy and demure until she pulls out a lighter and misting sprayer. In characteristic understated fashion, Kilgore explains, "The drink is finished with a little Angostura [bitters] and rum."

Ponche ignites a crimson fireball onto the glass twice: once for taste, once to oblige the clamor of requests from those sitting at the bar.

Make this at home -- carefully. Gut Check doesn't want you to burn your house down.

Dear Elisabetta

1 oz Amaro Nonio
.5 oz Big O Ginger Liqueur
.5 oz Nux Alpine Walnut Liqueur
1 Whole Egg

Shake "till your hands freeze." Strain and finish with a torch of Angostura bitters and Stroh 160 Spiced Rum.
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