Dear Lifehacker, I recently read your article on home bar essentials and it got me in the mood to dust off my cocktail making kit. However, I'm looking to dabble beyond the usual mixers and garnishes. Specifically, I want to give egg whites a try. Where should a beginner start? Thanks, Southern Expat
I'm afraid you're asking the wrong person. My preference has always been dry cocktails over creamy or sweet. But perhaps an expert will be able to help...
Grant Wheeler is a beverage director of US cocktail bar chain Den Hospitality and a self-described "mixologist" who is constantly experimenting with new cocktail recipes. Here's what he had to say on the subject of egg whites:
Egg whites are probably the most accessible form of emulsification around, so don’t be scared. Egg whites add texture and create balance across flavors by creating this unifying texture. Also, you can add small amounts of powdered spices or typically non water soluble spices to a cocktail with egg white because they will suspend themselves in the drink.
But as a beginner, make sure first and foremost you are working with fresh eggs or fresh egg whites. If you are using ice from your kitchen, you probably want to dry shake the egg white and citrus to create a froth prior to adding the rest of the ingredients and the ice.
Another thing to consider is that warm egg whites are kinda stinky even when fresh. I always consider some sort of aromatic garnish or addition to allow the drink to age without getting smelly. I think during these cocktails heyday, people drank their egg white cocktails quicker than we do now. If you plan on nursing an egg white drink, you want to take steps to make sure it smells good — aromatic bitters, grated spices, etc.
We're also going to throw this one over to cocksure readers - if you have any egg white cocktail mixing tips or favourite recipes, let SE know in the comments section below.
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