In bars all around the world, consumers have been enjoying cocktails with egg white in them for years, and yet at home, it seems to remain taboo for the average home bartender. This may be due to a number of mindsets, the main argument being that egg white just doesn’t belong in a cocktail.
However, a lot of people who enjoy egg whites in their cocktails only consume such cocktails while at a bar. This just contributes to the misunderstanding that to properly emulsify the ingredients, it takes more skill than the usual shaken cocktail. While there is an additional step to truly make the most of your egg white cocktail, it is no more difficult than shaking up your favorite margarita or martini — if you prefer yours shaken, that is.
But, there is a technique behind an egg white that yields better results than a simple shake alone — the reverse dry shake method. It is most common for professional bartenders to shake cocktails with egg white twice; once with ice, and once without. The reverse dry shake allows the drink mixer to achieve more volume and aeration in the cocktail.
To get the best results for your cocktail, I recommend combining ingredients in a cocktail shaker, adding ice and shaking. This dilutes and chills the ingredients while also combining them. Once your cocktail is ready, remove the ice from the cocktail shaker and shake again.
This results in a marvelous look and texture to the cocktail. and if you strain directly into your glass after the second shake you may notice some big bubbles here and there, however, I prefer the look and mouthfeel of a cocktail that has been double strained through a tea strainer. By doing this, you are breaking down those larger bubbles. Not only will it look nicer in your glass, but I believe the smaller bubbles last longer on top of your drink while you enjoy it.
All of this may seem like a lot of work, but there are so many great reasons to invest in learning this process. Egg white is an amazing agent for emulsifying ingredients and works in such a manner similar to using salt. By adding an egg white into a cocktail, you are going to mellow out the acidity and balance the sugars to create a totally harmonious libation. While this result can also be achieved by tweaking certain ingredients, or even using salt, the main effect that draws bartenders and consumers to egg white cocktails is the wonderful silky, viscous mouthfeel that is created by shaking up an egg white cocktail.
Here are a few tips to help make this process easier when you start getting crafty with your cocktails at home:
- I highly recommend cracking the egg into a separate vessel first, then dropping only the white into your shaker. This allows for you to make a few mistakes, and not have to start from scratch.
- If for any reason you want the resulting velvety mouth feel and viscosity, but still want to avoid egg white there are plenty of great alternatives out there today. The most basic alternative, that is very readily available is Aquafaba, also known as chickpea water. The end result is not 100% the same, but it certainly does a good job of emulating the egg white.
- Bartenders and bar product suppliers have also been hard at work creating egg white substitutes for years, and although I certainly haven’t tried all of them, the one that I have used quite a bit for convenience and amazing results is the Ms. Better’s Bitters Miraculous Foamer.
- If you’re really getting into it, and you want to take it next level, you should also consider looking into flips. This category of cocktails goes above and beyond, using egg yolks to add more flavor and texture to a cocktail.