Egg Cream on South Beach? U-Bet! What It Is and How To Make It
Here's the long answer: Louis Auster, a Jewish immigrant who came to New York in the 1890s, created the drink and sold it in his candy store at Stanton and Cannon streets in lower Manhattan -- and later at his second shop at Third Street and Avenue D. According to his grandson Stanley, Louis was "fooling around, and he started mixing water and cocoa and sugar and so on, and somehow or other, eureka, he hit on something which seemed to be just perfect for him." It proved to be appealing to lots of other people as well: Louis would sell up to 3,000 egg creams a day.
The name is a misnomer: There is no egg or cream involved, although the white foam atop the beverage looks like whipped cream. Louis would never divulge his original formula for the secret syrup, and it has never been publicly revealed (he made the syrup in a room with the windows blacked out). It was rumored back in the day that Schrafft's ice-cream company had offered him twenty grand for the recipe and was turned down.
This beverage is beloved by an older generation of New Yorkers and expatriate New Yorkers, but has never translated beyond that specific demographic. If the fan base doesn't expand, soon the egg cream will be a beverage beloved by a dead generation of New Yorkers -- which won't help sales much.
Brooklyn-Style Egg Cream
- Take a tall, chilled, straight-sided, 8-ounce glass
- Spoon one-inch of U-bet Chocolate syrup into glass (about one-and-a-half ounces)
- Add one-inch whole milk (about one-and-a-half ounces)
- Stir the milk and syrup to blend, then tilt the glass and deflect a fast jet of seltzer (from a pressurized cylinder only) off a spoon in order to create a foamy white head
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