If you’re a New Yorker of a certain age, the egg cream is likely an essential part of your personal fabric. If you’ve never had one, you might be surprised to learn that it doesn’t contain any eggs. (The origins of the name are hotly debated.)
Traditionally, an egg cream is made with whole milk and chocolate syrup, but since vanilla simple syrup is thinner than chocolate syrup, I recreate the creaminess of the original by using half-and-half (half milk, half cream) instead of milk.
I offer some general suggestions for amounts. Everything can be adjusted to your taste.
Prepare the Simple Syrup
1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over high heat, stirring gently. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute, just long enough for mixture to turn clear and sugar to dissolve completely. Let syrup cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
2. Place vanilla bean in a lidded glass or jar or other heatproof container and pour syrup over bean. Cover and let steep in the refrigerator for at least one day before using.
Prepare the Egg Cream
1. In a tall glass, stir together vanilla syrup and half-and-half.
2. Begin pouring club soda in a slow stream down the side of the glass, stirring to encourage the drink to bubble up, until the foam reaches the top of the glass. Serve immediately.