Jewish Noir & The Very Dark Egg Cream

Mystery Playground
October 2nd, 2015

Kenneth Wishnia, editor of Jewish Noir, and Meryl Zegarek have joined forces to bring us the perfect drink for Jewish Noir, Contemporary Tales of Crime and Other Dark Deeds. Read on…

Description of book:
Jewish Noir edited by Kenneth Wishnia is a collection of new stories by some of the best-known crime writers examining the re-emergence of noir in our culture, with a Jewish point of view. This unique collection has stories by Jewish literary and genre writers including award-winning authors such as Marge Piercy, Harlan Ellison, S.J. Rozan, Nancy Richler, Moe Prager (Reed Farrel Coleman), Wendy Hornsby, Charles Ardai and Kenneth Wishnia. The stories range from noirish literary to pulpier crime stories and examine a myriad of issues. There are also a few stories by non-Jewish writers, illustrating that you don’t need to be Jewish to write Jewish Noir.  And you don’t need to be Jewish to appreciate our drink.

Why pair this drink and this book:
The stories in this collection explore the question of how Jewish identity produces a particular tendency toward the cynical voice of noir. What could be more Jewish than the egg cream, a creation of NYC’s Jewish immigrant with a shady history. Brooklyn candy store owner Louis Auster is commonly cited as the inventor of the egg cream.  It is said he created it in the late 1890s and would go to great lengths to make the chocolate syrup in the back of his store with the windows blacked out. He even took his secret recipe to the grave! His drink had neither cream nor eggs, and it was an instant hit; on a hot day his shop could sell 3,000 to thirsty customers.

But as with many things Jewish, and noir, there is another side to the story.

Retired professor of sociology Daniel Bell disputes this claim, and argues that his Uncle Hymie invented the egg cream in the 1920s at his candy store on the Lower East Side, and he used both cream and eggs in it, but dropped those ingredients during the Depression to lower the price.

Whoever invented the egg cream, it remains a cherished drink. We have added chocolate vodka to our version, making it dark and ultimately more devious.

Fill a tall glass with 1/3 cup of Fox’s U-Bet Chocolate Syrup (of if you can’t find U-Bet any quality chocolate syrup)
Add 1/4 cup milk  
Add seltzer to fill the glass to the top
Add one shot of chocolate vodka
Garnish with whipped cream and sprinkles
Stir right before drinking.

Enjoy with a straw, always. Unless you want a white mustache!

(photo above taken by MZPR)

Back to Kenneth Wishnia’s Author Page