CLASSIC: Morning Glory Fizz

Just the tonic after a night of excess…

Photography by Rob Palmer

Morning Glory Fizz

Hopefully by now you’ve managed to get hold of  David A. Embury’s The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks which was re-released last year. Last December, to celebrate its return we thought a little picker-upper, corpse reviver, eye opener, bracer or brain duster, like the Morning Glory Fizz, might just do the trick in blowing the cobwebs off this much lauded tome. Indeed, the tasty beverage that you’re looking at was originally intended as a morning tonic to blow the cobwebs off tired and strained bodies struggling after a night of excess. A perfect beverage then to up your sleeve over the busy World Cocktail Week celebrations.

We often forget that cocktails, in their most primitive form, were designed as medicinal morning ‘pick me ups’ much in the same way as we consume a hot cup of java nowadays. Referred to vulgarly as ‘bittered slings’, Americans in the 1800s combined bitters (noted for their curative properties) with alcohol, sugar and water, to take as a breakfast time tonic. This practice has never truly vanished with drinks like The Bloody Mary often prescribed upon a morning to remedy a bad case of post-revelry blues.


Whilst never truly disappearing, The Morning Glory Fizz like Embury’s book was, until now, something rarely stumbled upon although both in their day were important creations. The Morning Glory Fizz first appears in cocktail volumes in the late 1800s. Dale DeGroff in his new book The Essential Cocktail  says that it first appears in O.H. Byron’s Modern Bartender’s Guide, in 1884. It certainly pops up in Harry Johnson’s New and Improved Bartenders’ Guide in 1900. Johnson describes the beverage as “an excellent one for a morning beverage, which will give a good appetite and quiet the nerves”.

Johnson’s recipe calls for Scotch, sugar, lime and lemon juices, egg white, “syphon selters or vichy water” and a few of dashes of absinthe. Embury, notorious for the strength of his drink recipes, calls for a full “pony” or 30ml of absinthe. The recipe displayed below is a trade off between the two.

 Morning Glory Fizz

45ml Blended Scotch whiskey

15ml French or Swiss absinthe

15ml Lime juice

10ml Lemon juice

2tsp Castor sugar

1 Egg white

Syphon selters or vichy water to top

Add all ingredients except syphon selters to your mixing glass. Dry shake (without ice) to emulsify egg white. Add cracked ice and shake briskly. Strain into a highball glass and top with sparkling water. Consume immediately.

  1. This drink is on our menu at Milk & Honey. We cut down the absinthe sinificantly and use it only as an accent. Nonetheless a true classic and fantastic variation on the fizz. I highly reccommend using something like Compass Box Aslya for it.

  2. Hi Tim,

    Yes a great variation on the Fizz and a fairly early use of Scotch too. I can see the Aslya working well and I would also recomend cutting down the absinthe a la Johnson to a couple of dashes as opposed to Embury’s version too.

    If you are an absinthe fan make sure you use a quality French or Swiss variety. It doesn’t have to be high octane; something like Lemercier 45 or  Kubler works well as they are quite sweet due to a fairly high anise content.    

    How’s Milk & Honey treating you anyway Tim? Good to see you’re keeping up with the play ‘down-under’ from Lodon…

  3. Tim is everywhere at once, he sees all and knows all. Tim is not a man but a state of mind !!


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