You Can Take the Man Out of NJ…

Take a Number

2 oz Everything bagel shake infused rye whiskey
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Lemon juice
Few Dashes Black Cloud Bitters Garden Party Bitters
Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray celery soda

Rim Collins glass with everything bagel shake, set aside. Add everything but soda to a mixing glass with ice. Shake, strain into ice filled Collins glass. Top with ~3 oz celery soda, garnish with lemon spiral and celery.

After 15+ years of living in Boston, there are tons of things I love about this part of the country. The history, proximity to skiing, abundant seafood, and such. But there is one thing this Jersey boy still misses desparately…Bagels. Even the best bagel in Boston is a mediocre NJ/NY bagel at best.

So every time we go visit family in Jerz, we bring back a dozen PROPER bagels (we’ll even get family to bring some up when they visit). Usually a mix of everything, sesame, poppy, onion and garlic. Now, obviously the bagels are the best part – with a schmear, in a breakfast sandwich, with butter and melted cheese – it’s all truly delicious. However, just like the Native Americans used every part of the buffalo, I won’t let any part of this sack of goodness go to waste. That includes the bagel shake at the bottom of the bag.

All the seasonings that aren’t strong enough to cling to the dough end up gathered at the bottom. After the bagels are done (or sliced and put in the freezer), I’ll dump out all this tastiness for future use. Try it in mashed potatoes, you’ll thank me later. Or you can channel a nice deli breakfast and season a salmon fillet with it and throw it on the grill. This leftover gold has found it’s way into many foodstuffs, but this year I decided to take to the next level and infuse it into some booze.

I did two infusions – vodka, which made a mean bloody mary; and rye whiskey, again channeling the flavors of a classic deli. Also, it just so happens a few months back I bought some Dr. Browns Cel-Ray, and have been struggling to make a cocktail with it. This savory soda is a staple at Jewish Delis across NYC. It’s peppery, slightly vegetal flavor is somewhat of an acquired taste, but once you get into it you’re hooked.


My everything-infused rye was a perfect match for this oddball of a drink. I decided to keep things simple and basically do a riff on a whiskey highball, adding some lemon and simple syrup to round things out. The nose was a lovely combination of whiskey notes, the soda, and hints of the bagel bag. On the sip I was thankful for the lemon, as that cut the savoriness enough to make it quite sippable. The spiciness from the rye played off the everything seasoning nicely. The finish was more of that classic Cel-Ray taste, followed by a boozy bite from the rye.

I’m so excited I was finally able to combine to of my greatest loves…booze and bagels. Next time you get a dozen bagels (even if they’re not from NY/NJ), keep that delicious shake at the bottom. You’ll be surprised in how you can use it.

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