You don’t see Posset (pronounced POZ-it) very often. It’s a rustic beer-based drink with origins in 16th-century England, served warm and topped with a comfortingly custard-y top that you’ll want to sink into like a pillow.
Brooklyn’s newOlmsted is serving it up by the mugful, with a local twist. Run by Alinea alum Greg Baxtrom, this rich, warming drink is made with eggs, cream and milk sourced as locally as possible, plus Brooklyn East IPA. We’d expect nothing less from a restaurant co-owned by a full-time farmer (Ian Rothman), who has turned the backyard garden into a welcoming alfresco space toasted by heat lamps, where produce is grown for the restaurant dishes and a pair of guinea fowl nest.
“It’s a precursor to what we know as Eggnog,” says Mike Bohn, the head bartender at Olmsted. “It was a peasant drink. Food was scarce, so they would add egg and cream to drinks, and ale or alcohol to pasteurize it.” Gently cooked, the top layer becomes a textured, eggy curd, ideally scooped up with a spoon, uncovering the spiced, boozy liquid underneath.
“In New York, those really cold days call for something rich and warming and thick,” says Bohn. “Most people coming in here have never had a Posset before and have no idea what it should be, so we can play around with the flavors.”
As a result, the recipe changes day to day, as Bohn switches up the beers and liqueurs that go into the versatile mix. In lieu of dry sack (a type of sherry), used in the original recipe, Bohn experiments with various liqueurs to add nuance and complexity, such as Strega, an herbal Italian liqueur.
The one non-negotiable: The drink is best sipped out back, in the garden. And no, although the quail will keep you company, their eggs are not used in the Posset—it’s made with regular chicken eggs.