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You are what you drink? Edible alcohol from the Roosevelt's Matthew Biancaniello

January 15, 2010 |  2:55 pm

Matthew portrait

Matthew Biancaniello has worked as a magazine ad salesman, an underwater photographer and a zookeeper's assistant at the Neverland Ranch. The last place he thought he'd find himself was tending bar, much less creating award-winning culinary cocktails at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel -- especially given that one of his parents was an alcoholic and that Biancaniello himself has a tumultuous history with food.

Now he finds himself on the cutting edge of a new trend: cocktails made with eggs. Or, in this case, served in eggshells. He's collaborating with the folks at Bar Keeper in Silver Lake to turn emu eggshells, which have a gorgeous blue-green hue and a texture similar to the skin of an avocado, into cups for sipping cocktails. (Find DIY directions for his Indian Summer Cocktail recipe served in an emu egg here.)

Completed drink

Though eggs are being used elsewhere to create foams and to add body to drinks, or are served pickled or even fried on top of drinks, Biancaniello has made eggs part of the drink and part of the service. By April, he'd like to start serving something he'll call the Humpty Dumpty, a cocktail made of vanilla-bean-infused bourbon, almond-infused cherry liqueur, cream, egg whites and lecithin, which he'll freeze using liquid nitrogen into popcorn-size bits. "I'll serve it in an ostrich egg," he says of the concoction, which will cost $25 and serve two.

In the meantime, you’ll find him making a multitude of delicacies: pomegranate seeds marinated in Grand Marnier and served on scallop shells, rock candy made of Aperol, heart-shaped martini gelées, bourbon infused with shiitake mushrooms and his Ham on Rye, made with prosciutto-infused bourbon, black maple walnut liqueur and cornichons.

Read more about Biancaniello, formerly known as "The Human Garbage Can" and "The Man Who'll Eat Anything" here.

-- Alexandra Le Tellier

Photo credit: Colin Young-Wolff / For The Times