Measure & Stir

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Old Fashioned Fernet Cocktail with Pineapple Foam


Last week’s foam adventure left me unsatisfied; though the foam itself was excellent, the total drink was lacking. And in the aftermath of my failure, I knew there was a reliable way to redeem myself. I brought back our old friend, that time-tested combination, pineapple and fernet. I have already spoken at some length about this combination; we all know it’s a winner. What I wanted to do with this drink was to showcase the foam with a simple drink that would support it. In my earlier experiment, I tried to unify two wholly disparate parts into a single drink, with predictable results.

Here, rather than putting two drinks in one glass and watching them fight, I envisioned a single drink, and split half of its components into a foam, and the other half into a cocktail. The marriage was perfect; I placed a simple foam on top of a simple drink, and it needed nothing.

I admit, I had my reservations about the foam recipe itself. To make a good foam, one needs to a balance the ratio of sugar to acid, not merely for flavor, but also for the structural integrity of the foam. Pineapple juice has a pH of about 3.0, whereas lemon juice hovers between 1.8 and 2.2. I used pineapple juice as the base of this foam, so I knew I needed to use significantly less citrus than in the whiskey sour foam from before, but I wasn’t sure how much less. I ended up taking a stab in the dark, and getting lucky. Pineapple juice also has a high sugar content, so one wonders if it might not be fine on its own.

Pineapple Foam
6 oz Fresh Pineapple Juice, strained.
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice, strained.
1 oz Simple Syrup
2 oz water
4 egg whites
Combine all in an iSi whipped cream dispenser and discharge two nitrogen cartridges. Allow the canister to rest in the refrigerator for ten minutes before use.

Old Fashioned Fernet Cocktail, Pineapple Foam
1.5 oz Fernet Branca
.25 oz Simple Syrup
1 Dash Angostura Bitters
Stir over ice and strain into a rocks glass with a single large ice cube. Top with a generous amount of pineapple foam.

This drink needed nothing. Perhaps instead of an old fashioned, it should be called a new fangled, in reference to the molecular mixology technique here employed. Regardless, this was one of my finest original creations to date. The water mellowed out the flavor of the foam, balancing it against the Fernet, allowing the whole drink to breathe. A big danger with foam drinks is that the foam can overwhelm the drink underneath, and dilution of the foam is the secret to keeping the flavors in balance.

11 thoughts on “Old Fashioned Fernet Cocktail with Pineapple Foam

  1. I need to make some of that tonight! Looks amazing 🙂

  2. This looks fantastic! Fernet Old Fashioned really is wonderful, and the pineapple foam sounds like it’d be a great way to hit that flavor combination.
    I haven’t been lucky enough to try a drink with flavored foam yet. How would you describe the intensity of the flavor for smell/taste as opposed to, say, garnishing with a pineapple wheel on the side (not adding juice though)? Or I wonder how the basic drink would be with the use of pineapple bitters instead of Angostura?

  3. I don’t have any pineapple bitters, though it’s an intriguing proposal. The foam does not have as strong of an aroma as a wedge of pineapple, but it has a light and pleasant pineapple scent. Foam drinks like this are prime candidates for a lighter and a spray bottle of bitters. I endorse this, but I tried it with angostura and it was kind of dissonant with the rest of the drink, which is why I did not include it in this post.

  4. This is a cool recipe. Try putting the foam in the glass first, then adding the drink; it looks a little neater.

    • I tried that with my earlier foam + cocktail experiment and I didn’t really think it made a difference, it just made a hole in the foam, which I plugged with more foam. In fact I thought it looked kind of ugly that way. If you put the foam on top of the drink, you can create this nice rosette pattern.

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