Café Kirsch, 1973 – Vintage Cocktail Friday

Posted on Mar 7 2014 - 3:22am by RetroRuth

Happy Friday! This week we are mixing up a coffee drink, mostly because Tom had some extra coffee lying around after breakfast.


Cafe Kirsch
  • 1 jigger kirsch
  • 1 tsp superfine sugar
  • 2 jiggers strong cold coffee
  • 1 egg white
  1. Shake well with ice and strain into wine glass or crystal Irish coffee mug.



“What is it with these drinks smelling bad? This smells like feet. Here, smell this.”

“Oh god, it does smell like feet!”

“We should just throw this out and make something else.”

“Nope. We have to try it. You promised everyone that you would! ”



“How does it taste?”

“It tastes…odd.”

The Verdict: Odd

From The Tasting Notes –

For some reason, the coffee and the kirsch didn’t pair well together. It ended up tasting not like kirsch, but more like cream de cacao if the cream de cacao had gone sour and smelled like a locker room. This drink did not smell good. We will not be making this drink again…at least willingly.

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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10 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. thelmaritter March 7, 2014 at 7:27 am - Reply

    My big question is why there seems to be egg in so many of these old timey cocktail recipes. Does it stem from a misguided attempt to provide “nutrition” with alcohol or just another way to poison your customers along with the bathtub gin?

    • RetroRuth March 7, 2014 at 9:10 am - Reply

      I think it is a presentation thing. You know vintage recipes are all about presentation! I think it was done to make your drink frothy and maybe for the texture?

  2. Yinzerella March 7, 2014 at 9:01 am - Reply

    Maybe this would be good sans-egg and heated?

    • RetroRuth March 7, 2014 at 9:08 am - Reply

      I am thinking it would be. There is no way that egg whites from the carton taste good raw. Maybe that is where the foot smell is coming from?

      • Yinzerella March 7, 2014 at 9:24 am - Reply

        When I made the Silver Fizz and Golden Fizz for my blog, it called for egg (golden: yolk, silver:white) and it did definitely have an eggy smell to them.

        But I just recently had a sloe gin fizz (with an egg white) at a bar down here called Rye and it was delicious.Not at all eggy. Maybe professional bartenders know something that we don’t?

        • RetroRuth March 7, 2014 at 9:37 am - Reply

          Maybe! Or maybe they don’t actually use liquid egg white anymore, maybe they use a powder or something. Or maybe the amount of alcohol in the drink needs to be strong enough to overpower the taste (and smell) of egg.

  3. Lassie March 7, 2014 at 10:31 am - Reply

    Kirsch is made from cherries, and I think coffee and cherries is a bad combination. (People sometimes are inspired to mix a fruit flavor with coffee. Tea, maybe. Coffee? Ew, No!) The egg white is probably to give the drink a smooth mouth feel. I once made a milkshake in a blender with a whole egg and it was smooth, thick, and unctuous. (I have no explanation for the smell like dirty feet, but I think it’s the cherry!)

    • RetroRuth March 7, 2014 at 11:07 am - Reply

      You are right! Cherry + coffee = bad idea

  4. Tipsykit March 8, 2014 at 12:51 am - Reply

    I haven’t actually tried this, but I read that you should shake a cocktail with egg white in it for a solid 1-2 minutes to really agitate the eggs you should wind up with a lot of foam at the top. Maybe it should have been shaken longer? Not that it would have necessarily improved the flavor. Coffee and cherry? Ick.

  5. Matt March 8, 2014 at 6:24 am - Reply

    It’s the kirschwasser that smells like feet. It sounds delicious on paper (Liquor made from cherries? Sign me up!) but in reality, alcoholic feet. Especially the brand you’re using, once it gets stirred up.

    The egg seems like an obvious culprit, but I promise you that egg white in cocktails is totally inoffensive unless you really hate thicker-textured drinks. Which is fair; that trips the gag reflex for some people. But when it’s shaken like in this recipe, it mostly just gives you foam like what you see in the pictures.

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