When I mention egg whites as an ingredient in a cocktail, the typical reaction is the same as a three year old spotting a piece of parsley on his plate, “EEWWWWWWWW!!!”
Egg whites are a fantastic addition of texture to a drink, though most have trouble getting over the fact that eggs whites in a drink would be like the scene in Rocky where Sly Stone sucks down a couple of raw eggs.
Fact is, raw eggs whites are used in several culinary applications, and whether we want to admit it or not, I’d bet we all have had a raw or two in our lifetime. My favorite raw egg white product top a pie: Lemon Meringue pie to be exact. Meringue is raw egg whites beaten to foam with sugar, then the top is typically hit with a Brule torch. Anyone growing up in the South has had their share (and a neighbor’s share) meringue.
Ever been out for Sunday Brunch? A staple item on every menu for brunch is Eggs Benedict, which includes a wonderful little sauce called “hollandaise”. That also includes out little raw friends as well. Do you like mayonnaise? Raw eggs. Potato salad? Made with mayo and in turn raw eggs.
So, if I have convinced you that egg whites can be and frequently are consumed raw, then lets look at a couple of great mixological applications for this ingredient.
The first drink I ever had with an egg white was a Whiskey Sour.
1 ½ oz whiskey (I like bourbon)
½ oz 2:1 simple syrup
½ oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 egg white
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange and cherry flag. (I like a dash or orange bitters in mine as well!)
If you can find Pisco Brandy, use the same recipe to make a Pisco Sour!
A big trend in molecular mixology is using foams on drinks. Foams can be made in a variety of ways, including our friend the egg white.
Here is my recipe for Bloody Mary Foam:
2 egg whites
5 oz tomato juice
¼ oz Worcechestershire Sauce
10 drops hot sauce
¼ tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp New Mexico Red Chile Powder or Cayenne
Place all ingredients in an ISI Canister and charge. Shake well.
For the Bloody Mary
Rim a wide old fashioned glass with Kosher Salt. Pour in 1 ½ oz chilled vodka. Top with Bloody Mary Foam. YUM!!
And no post about egg whites would be complete without mention of one of the greatest cocktail creations of all time: The Ramos Gin Fizz
1 oz half and half
¾ oz lemon juice
1 simple syrup
3 dashes orange blossom water (can be purchased online or at a good specialty food store)
1 egg white
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with out ice (at first) and shake, shake shake, then shake some more (The original recipe required 12-15 minutes to get the right creaminess). Once emulsified, Add Ice and shake to chill then strain into an ice filled Collins glass, top with club soda and enjoy. Garnish with a orange or lemon peel.
Don’t have the “shake power” or patience to wait that long for your libation? Do what I do and use a Frother to make the emulsion! This handy little tool is inexpensive and will whip up your drink in a matter of seconds.
Yes, there is a risk in consuming raw food products. But the risk is minimal nowadays with the regulating agencies that govern those that produce, deliver, and handle our food. So, understand the risk, but don’t let it stop you from enjoying a wonderful addition to your libation experience.