Boulder Locavore; Crafts and Cocktails

The Secret Behind Bartender's Putting Egg Whites in Cocktails + 5 Frothy Recipes

Forget what you've been told about eating raw eggs for a moment and let's talk about raw egg cocktails. Specifically raw egg white cocktails. You may have noticed this unexpected ingredient has become a trendy staple in the mixology world and are probably completely baffled as to why. The answer there all has to do with one important factor, texture.

Egg whites have this magical ability to transform a cocktail into a voluptuous libation. Without adding any sort of eggy flavor, egg whites give the average cocktail a creamy texture that's topped off with a gorgeous frothy head - kind of like the foam on your beer. It's this pillowy texture that allows all those flavors to linger on your tongue as you happily imbibe.

While the trend of hip bars featuring fancy egg white cocktails may lead you to believe this is a new tradition, it's anything but. Look into some old cocktail recipe books and you'll notice egg whites make the list -  like this Peruvian cookbook from 1903. In fact, there are entire categories of cocktails like sours which utilize this secret ingredient.

And like every good secret ingredient, there's a certain technique that comes with the territory, which for the egg white is all in the shake. In order to achieve the perfect consistency, add all the cocktail ingredients to your cocktail shaker and vigorously shake until the egg white emulsifies - this is known as a dry shake. Then proceed with a wet shake by adding the ice and shaking until the beverage is chilled.

Of course, you'll want to use some good quality eggs that are super fresh. I recommend buying eggs from a local farm if you can. If you don't have that luxury, use this egg guide to decipher the freshness of your grocery store egg carton. Oh, and keep it to one egg per cocktail. We're not making egg salad here.

Now that we've done all this talking about egg whites, it's time to get to the good stuff, the drinking. Giving your libation a frothy, silky consistency you won't be able to resist, we've gathered up a few good egg white cocktails for you to get started with. Take a look.

1. Maple Whiskey Sour

It wouldn't be a proper whiskey sour without the egg white and we've got the recipe that will delight your taste buds. It incorporates the classic whiskey sour ingredients of fresh-squeezed lemon juice and whiskey but replaces the sugar with the touch of maple syrup. The result is a tart, sour cocktail balanced perfectly by the sweet hint of syrup. And the egg? That's the secret to what truly makes this a classic cocktail.

Get the recipe here.

2. Peruvian Pisco Sour

The Peruvian Pisco is a bit similar to a whiskey sour with one major difference, the liquor of choice. Omitting the whiskey, this citrusy and smooth cocktail combines pisco, simple syrup, lime juice, a dash of Angostura bitters, and egg white. With the first sip, you'll get a nice frothy mouthfeel followed by the flavor of heavenly bliss.

Get the recipe here.

3. Cranberry Ramos Gin Fizz

You want to know why I love this drink recipe, besides how tasty it is, I get a dose of protein and vitamins all in one cocktail glass. What's better than that?

Oh, I know, the ingredients list. Along with an egg white and cranberries, it also calls for gin, heavy cream, fresh lemon juice, soda water, and orange blossom water. Silky smooth, creamy, citrusy, and the right amount of sweet, this gin cocktail is one to bust out when you're ready to indulge.

Get the recipe here.

4. Bohemian Cocktail with Elderflower Foam

If you really want to impress your friends during the next cocktail hour, shake up one of these. Gin, elderflower liqueur, fresh grapefruit juice, and Peychaud's bitters are shaken and strained into a cocktail glass, then the whole thing is topped with elderflower infused eggs whites. It's like the equivalent of topping off your hot chocolate with whipped cream, except in this case you get a boozy, velvety botanical treat.

Get the recipe here.

5. Blood Orange Negroni

I know what you're thinking, a Negroni with blood orange sounds amazing, but adding in egg whites? Have you gone mad?

It may sound crazy, but seriously you've got to try it. It transcends the old-fashioned recipe to another level. Give this recipe a try and from here on out when you're at a cocktail bar, you'll be asking the bartender to mix up this classic cocktail with a fresh egg white.

Get the recipe here.

Watch: The Health Benefits of Wine.