Hi, Friends of Cocktails. Today we are making something really nostalgic: a drink my grandmother used to make for us - but what do you call a hot mixture of wine, sugar and a whole egg? Some people would say a flip, Italians would say zabaglione, but that’s more like a custard and it only has egg yolks, and a flip is made with a spirit and traditionally has beer or ale added as well. What we’ll make today is called Šeto, or Šato or Šodo (pronounced “sha·tow”) - an old recipe that has different names and recipes in different regions of the country.
Šeto is an old traditional Slovenian dessert drink that was meant as a pick-me-up, even for young kids or new mothers to help them regain their strengths. I guess alcohol and cocktails being prescribed as medicine was once common world-wide, right? Different recipes for today’s drink were handed down through generations, with a recipe featured in the Great Slovenian Cookbook (first one being printed in 1868). It describes recipes for “Šodo” made with wine, milk or fruit juices, and it says you can use eggs or just the yolks, which takes it closer to the Italian Zabaglione.
Let’s first take a look at my grandma’s recipe (not something I thought I’d say when starting a cocktail channel), followed by my try at an elevated version. It’s Cocktail Time.
● 1 egg
● 1 tbsp sugar
● 100 mL (3.5 oz) white wine
Add everything to a saucepan and place it on medium-low heat. You’ll have to be careful not to burn anything, so you can use a makeshift double boiler by placing a bowl over a saucepan with water. Either way, whisk constantly, until you see steam coming out. You don’t want this to boil, so heat it up slowly, that way it will fluff up nicely and you’ll get the right consistency. Finally, you have to quickly pour it into a cup or mug and start enjoying it, while it’s still rich & fluffy.
Šeto will lose its airiness within minutes and it’s really best enjoyed while nice and hot, as it warms the body and soothes the soul - maybe that’s nostalgia talking, but I absolutely love it. Who knew grandmas could make such delicious cocktails? I’ve heard of people making Šeto with red wine - supposedly it’s better for your blood - but my grandma always made it with white wine so that’s what I went with. With that being said, I also want to build on that and make an elevated version, with added Cognac, Dry Curacao and, of course, saline solution.
Cocktail Time Šeto
● 15 mL (0.5 oz) cognac or brandy
● 7.5 mL (0.25 oz) Dry Curacao
● 2 drops saline solution
● 1 egg
● 1 tbsp (15g) sugar
● 100 mL (3.5 oz) white wine
● grating of nutmeg
Same as before, add all the ingredients into a saucepan or a bowl, slowly bring it up to heat (whisking constantly) and make sure nothing gets cooked and we get the right consistency. Once it gets nice and fluffy and you see vapor coming from our mixture it’s ready to be poured and enjoyed. I serve this one in a vintage wine-themed coupe glass, perfect for this occasion. Finally, top it with a grating of something you enjoy on your warm, pick-me-up cocktails - I’m using nutmeg, but cinnamon or tonka bean work great as well.
Again, enjoy it right after it’s served. You will be greeted by warm wine and nutty spice on the nose, then the pleasantly rich and silky mouthfeel coats your mouth with the first sip. Cognac and orange liqueur give it an extra layer of complexity, and the combination really warms your whole body and soul as it goes down - a really perfect drink to enjoy in great company.
And speaking of great company, the Cocktail Time Wall of Fame has a new member: Benjamin Tran - thank you, Benjamin, for becoming our top-tier Patron. If my grandma saw what you’re doing to support our show she’d make you one of these for sure and ask if you had anything for dinner - amazing woman and this “cocktail” she’d make is an amazing treat.
If you want to support what we do make sure to check out our Patreon (we have amazing perks waiting for you), and let me know if you try either one of these recipes and tag me on social media to check them out. Cheers, Friends of Cocktails!
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