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Cocktail Challenge: Miracle Whip

Nick Ostapczuk of Bangers & Lace takes a whip to the Ramos Gin Fizz.



Bangers & Lace GM and bartender Nick Ostapczuk was frank: "I've never enjoyed mayonnaise or Miracle Whip," he said after being challenged by Justin Fox of North Pond with the Kraft sandwich spread. "I've never bought a single jar of Hellman's or Miracle Whip, nor do I plan on it after this drink."

Given his dislike of the stuff, he hardly wanted the taste of Miracle Whip in the forefront of his cocktail. So in devising the drink, Ostapczuk said, "I took away my own prejudice and just thought about what it was." Miracle Whip is eggy, it's creamy—could he substitute it for the egg white and cream used in a classic Ramos Gin Fizz? It was at least worth a shot.

He started with what he termed some "very important tools"—a "fresh pack of ladies' crew socks and a three-inch monkey wrench." Acting as his own ice chef, he filled the tin of a shaker with ice, fitted one of the socks around the top, upended the container to pour the ice into the sock, and had at it with the wrench. "It's a very simple application," he said of his method. (An efficient one, too; the procedure took all of ten seconds.)

Ostapczuk filled a tumbler with the crushed ice, then set it aside and turned to building the drink itself. For his principal spirit, he went with Aviation gin, from Portland, Oregon, a "nice middle-of-the-road gin, not too junipery, not too dry."

The next step was pivotal. Given the relatively neutral flavor of his spirit, he needed something to overcome "Mr. Krafty Miracle Whip" and make the drink "more engaging, more approachable." Pimento dram, an allspice liqueur used in tiki and other classic cocktails, would do the trick, he thought, giving the drink "a lot more flavor, a lot more spice." Lemon and lime juices would add some freshness and acidity to counter the Miracle Whip's chemical tang, and simple syrup would round it out.

The result "tastes like horchata, almost," he said. He attributed the drink's potability to the pimento dram—it "just demolishes" the Miracle Whip.

Speaking of which, it's the "whip," slang for a nice car, that inspired the name of Ostapczuk's drink. That and a 1988 hit by Billy Ocean, memorably covered more recently by Gwar.

Get Out of My Dreams, Get Into My Whip

2 oz Aviation gin
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz the Bitter Truth Pimento Dram
1 heaping bar spoon Miracle Whip
Lemon and lime peel

Fill a tumbler with crushed ice. Combine ingredients in a mixing glass, cap, and "shake the living life out of it" to emulsify the Miracle Whip and create a creamy, frothy liquid. Pour over the crushed ice and garnish with peels of both lemon and lime.

Who's Next:

Continuing the theme of processed foods from our friendly neighborhood multinat Kraft, Ostapczuk has challenged Robbie Guevara of the new Wicker Park bar the Revel Room with Cheez Whiz.

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