How to Use Egg Whites in Cocktails

By Bevvy

 
When it comes to craft cocktails, it’s only a matter of time before you end up working with some pretty weird ingredients. Shrubs made from vinegar and fruit juice, homemade bitters, obscure Italian liqueurs… the list goes on, and no matter how long you’ve been mixing drinks you’re bound to be surprised by a recipe from time to time.
 
On the approachable end of that weirdness scale, though, is an ingredient that should be familiar to anyone used to working in the kitchen: egg whites. While most of us don’t make a habit of eating raw eggs on a regular basis (just try to keep us away from cookie dough, though—we dare you), they’re used in countless classic and modern cocktail recipes to give the drinks a rich, foamy texture that you can’t get any other way.
 
Once you get over any germophobic hangups you might have over drinking egg white cocktails—they’re actually very safe if you use quality eggs—you can open your horizons up to a whole new world of delicious imbibing. From the Pisco Sour or Whiskey Sour to the Gin Fizz and Clover Club, there’s no end to the great recipes you can make. But first, you have to know how to prepare your egg whites.

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Separating the Egg Whites

 
The first step, of course, is to separate the egg whites from the yolk. While this may seem like a daunting process to the uninitiated, it’s actually quite simple.
 

 
To start, crack the egg as close to its center as possible over your cocktail shaker or pint glass. Separate the halves, taking care not to let the yolk break or slip out of the shell. Then, transfer the yolk back and forth between the shell halves (gently!), allowing the whites to separate out and drop into your glass. Gravity does most of the work, and once the deed is done you can either discard the yolk or save it for some other project.
 

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The Dry Shake

 
In order to get that delicious foam in your drink, you need to do a bit of work on the egg white. You may be familiar with shaking a cocktail with ice, but the first step here is called a dry shake—a shake done without ice.
 

 
Simply add your egg white and the other ingredients to the cocktail shaker and shake it, hard, for at least a minute. It’s a bit more work than a standard shake, and if you want to cut down on the effort somewhat you can use a little trick to expedite the process: removing the spring from your Hawthorne strainer and adding it to the shaker beforehand. It works as an agitator, helping to froth the egg more quickly.
 
All that’s left to do is add ice, shake again for at least 30 seconds until the drink is chilled, and strain it into your glass. Now, you’ll almost always want to use a double-straining method with egg white cocktails, as it ensures that the foam is left in a nice, clean layer at the top like a latte. Since that’s a fairly interesting technique on its own, we’ll get into the details in a future article.
 
At last, incentive to build those biceps. Shake, shake, shake up one of these egg white cocktails from our friends at Bevvy:
 • Pisco Sour: the national drink of not one, but two South American countries
 • The Gin Fizz: shake until you're dizzy for a drink that's extra fizzy
 • Whiskey Sour: enjoy a cold cocktail and kiss scurvy goodbye
 

About Bevvy

Bevvy is a community-focused platform that helps people discover incredible new cocktail recipes, keep up with the ever-changing world of craft spirits, and learn what to drink, what to buy, and how to make it.