Snowed in and looking for trouble, I recently discovered the world of egg white cocktails and I thought that I’d share what I’ve learned… Starting with an innocent Whiskey Sour, I’ve come to learn more about egg white drinks and how delicious they can be. Certainly I can understand how many may be turned off by cocktails with egg whites, but in this post I’ll offer a beginners guide that may move you to more frequently consider them when bartending at home.
The Benefits of Egg Whites in Cocktails
Texture is one of several qualities that make up an enjoyable cocktail, and egg whites can make a dramatic difference. Egg white drinks have a richer, creamier texture and have a foamy appearance, all without a significant flavor difference. Unfortunately it’s rare for most to experience cocktails with egg whites for a couple reasons. First they take time to prepare and most busy bartenders do not have the ability or desire to prepare egg white drinks properly. Second, the raw egg has an image problem:
Risks Using Raw Eggs
Raw eggs are routinely criticized for the possibility of Salmonella contamination, but with the use of some common sense the risk can be greatly reduced. Here are a few basics that should keep you out of trouble:
- Clean the Eggs
- Use Fresh Eggs
- Keep Eggs Cold
- Toss Damaged Eggs
Alternatives to Raw Egg Whites in Cocktails
If you’re concerned about the possibility of Salmonella or just can’t get behind drinking egg whites, there are several alternatives. While I haven’t tried these, I think they may offer a good option:
- Pasteurized Egg Whites
- Egg White “Product”
Needless to say there is some risk with the use of raw egg whites in cocktails, but in my opinion the benefits far outweigh it. Take the necessary precautions and you’ll quickly find that the egg white cocktails you make at home will surpass the commercially available egg-less version by far.
How to Separate Eggs
So you’ve decided to give this egg thing a try, but there’s a question of functionality: How Do I Separate Eggs? Thankfully I’ve got a couple suggestions to help make your egg white cocktail experience easy. Here are 5 options from which you can choose:
Overall I like the first method better because it’s easy and minimizes cleanup, but it does take practice. If things get totally out of hand you can simply use your hand and wash up afterward.
Egg White Cocktail Technique
Successfully creating egg white cocktails is not difficult, but it requires the correct bartending technique. Frankly my initial version was a partial failure until I read Egg Whites in Cocktails and it stimulated my desire to learn more. After quite a bit of research, I found there are just a couple keys to a delicious drink.
The Dry Shake Method
Ultimately properly prepared egg white drinks must be thoroughly blended; I found that the Dry Shake method works best for me. In short it’s a two-step process that starts with blending the ingredients in a cocktail shaker without ice for approximately 1 minute. Afterward ice is added and the cocktail is shaken for another minute.
Thankfully the initial mix can be minimized through the use of a prop like a blender ball, or even just the spring from a Hawthorne Strainer, but it must be removed before the ice is added. Or if you’re crankin’ out a ton for a party you might even consider an immersion blender; you won’t look as cool, but your arm will still be attached by the end of the evening…
One Half Ounce of Egg White
Frequently egg white cocktail recipes are kinda vague when it comes to specifying how much egg white you’ll need for a cocktail. Since eggs range in size from medium to extra jumbos, the amount of white in each egg can vary dramatically. As a result, I’ve found that it makes sense to start with ½ oz of egg white for each cocktail and make the necessary adjustments from there.
Egg White Cocktail Recipes
Since until recently I was blissfully ignorant to the use of egg white in cocktails, you may be too, so I’ve assembled just a couple of cocktail recipes with which you might experiment. Give these a whirl and let us know the results:
- 2 oz. Whiskey
- ¾ oz. Lemon Juice
- ¼ oz. Simple Syrup
- ½ oz. Egg White
- Place Ingredients Into Shaker
- Shake for Approximately 1 Minute
- Add ½ c. Cracked Ice & Shake for Approx. 1 Minute
- Strain Into an Ice Filled Old Fashioned Glass
- Garnish As You Like (Maraschino Cherry, Orange Wheel or Other Fruit Salad
An acknowledged classic, the Pisco Sour hasn’t received the attention that many other classic cocktails have. While we discussed it in our previous post: The Pisco Sour: A Recipe , the basics include:
- 3 oz. Pisco
- 1 oz. Simple Syrup
- 1 oz. Key Lime Juice
- ½ oz. Egg White
- Ice Cubes
- Garnish: 3 Dashes Angostura Bitters
- Place the Liquid Ingredients Into Shaker
- Shake for 1 minute
- Add Ice to the Shaker
- Shake for 1 minute
- Strain the Pisco Into a Chilled Old Fashioned Glass
- Garnish With Three Drops of Bitters
While not mainstream, egg white cocktails possess a delicious, silky texture that everyone can appreciate. No matter if you’re a newbie or grizzled home bartender, you should at least compare egg white drinks with their no egg version to see how they compare. I’m sure that you’ll find that cocktails with egg whites are far superior.