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Drink of the Week: The Elk's Own at Heaven's Dog 

Wednesday, Apr 11 2012

Fizz cocktails are all about getting the drink silky and frothy, which you'd think would be simply a matter of adding an egg white or shaking it for a really long time. At Heaven's Dog, bar manager Trevor Easter makes a version of The Elks' Own that demonstrates how much more there is to giving a fizz the sought-after velvety texture and lightness.

Easter's version — made with port, Rittenhouse rye whiskey, lemon, sugar, and egg white ($10) — stands out for its perfectly whipped constancy, but also for the wonderfully fruity flavor and color that the port adds to the drink. An underappreciated fortified wine, port can sometimes come across as a syrupy, one-dimensional brute, but the exceptional Quinta De La Rosa adds gorgeous richness here.

Easter's secret is in the ice. Taking a cue from barman Sam Ross of the acclaimed New York bar Milk & Honey, Easter shakes with a single hand-cut ice cube. As he explains, the drink "works better when it's not super cold, and because of the big block you get a texture you can't get any other way."

The Elk's Own is classic variation on a Chicago Fizz (which uses rum instead of the rye whiskey), and won a gold medal with the National Police Gazette in 1901. To put things in perspective, at that time in cocktail history the Elks' Own was something you had for breakfast in the morning, to clear your head. You know, because of the egg.

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