The Department of Health's crackdown over Pegu Club's use of raw eggs in their cocktails is getting more runny by the day. Glenn Collins escapes his usual beat and speaks to a DOH associate commissioner, who states that the use of raw eggs as ingredients is not illegal, as long as it is requested by a customer or the customer is clearly notified that their order contains raw egg, something that can be accomplished verbally or by printing it on a menu. But Pegu's menu clearly listed raw egg as one of the Earl Grey MarTEAni's ingredients, and the bar still wound up getting slapped with a big enough violation to require a future court appearance.
According to the Times:
The inspector reported that the customer who asked for the MarTEAni didn’t order it from the menu and that the bartender didn’t mention raw eggs were in it. But the bartender on the night of the inspection, Kenta Goto, said that no MarTEAnis were served while the inspector was present.
DOH now says the inspection report was faulty and has reduced the number of violation points from 28 to 7, a minor infraction that will not require a court appearance. This has mixologists across New York breathing a huge sigh of relief, because as one anonymous bartender says, “if they make it illegal to serve egg-white drinks, that would be Hurricane Katrina for us." And bartenders wonder why they get a bad rap.