Raw eggs in a cocktail?? What’re we, training for a heavyweight title? ADRIAN!
Well, if you’re into classic cocktails you already know the magic that happens when you add egg white to a drink: Froth City! Not to mention, a beautiful, silky texture. And if you add an entire egg? It’s froth city and an even richer, silky texture with a slightly creamy, vanilla flavor. Using an egg in a cocktail also can round out some otherwise intense flavors like Chartreuse, absinthe or orange flower water, a key ingredient in a Ramos Gin Fizz. But if you’re unfamiliar with this arm-fatiguing practice (there’s a LOT of shaking involved!), it may sound sort of gross, or risky to you. If you’re a child or with child, you should probably avoid raw eggs. But if you fall into either of those categories, you should probably avoid boozing it up anyway! Also, if you have a compromised immune system or are very elderly, you might want to stay away from egg filled cocktails. But the risk of contracting Salmonella from ingesting raw eggs is extremely low for the rest of us. You have a higher likelihood of contracting it from cantaloupe. According to a recent study done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, only one in every 30,000 eggs is contaminated with salmonella. But there is still a risk, so you may want to look into egg safety before adding huevo to your el cóctel. The short list is that you should always use fresh, clean, unbroken (duh) eggs, preferably from a local, organic farm versus a factory farm. And if you’re still concerned about the risks, opt for pasteurized eggs. But you may want to opt out altogether because the taste and foam volume will most likely be compromised.
Let’s Get Crackin’!
There are plenty of classic cocktails besides the Ramos Gin Fizz that use either whole eggs or just the whites. Eggnog, of course comes to mind, but there is also the Pisco Sour, Clover Club, Pink Lady, Tom & Jerry and the later rendition of the Flip cocktail. Since the addition of eggs create a heavier drink, you see more of these kinds of cocktails start to pop up on menus during the fall and winter months.
The key to successfully adding egg to any cocktail is a dry shake. That is, adding all of your ingredients to the shaker, including the egg, but without ice. You then shake, shake, shake to emulsify all of the ingredients. It takes some extra work to integrate all of the booze, acid and egg together as well as form a frothy consistency. To emulsify the egg even quicker, you can take the spring off of a Hawthorne strainer and add it to the shaker for the dry shake. Then you add ice and shake again. Your arms will get a workout, but you will be rewarded for your hard work with a silky, foamy delight!
I recently came up with two very different cocktails using egg. The first one is a fizz type drink served in a highball glass using just the egg white:
Violette City Fizz
3 oz Industry Standard Vodka
1 oz Pink Peppercorn Syrup
1 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Creme de Violette
1/4 oz Sambuca
Load all ingredients into shaker except soda. Shake without ice, 15-20 seconds. Add ice, shake again for 15-20 seconds. Pour into a highball glass with or without ice. Top with soda and stir to foam even more.
This fizzy ambrosia clearly filled me with glee.
The other cocktail with egg was inspired by some delightful quince syrup I received from Kate Galassi from Quinciple.
I ended up creating a cross between a sour and a flip type drink.
Citrusy, acidic flavors played a starring role here, but using a whole egg for a super creamy finish, qualified it as a flip.
The Quinciple Flip
2 oz Owneys NYC Rum
1 oz American Fruits Pear Brandy
1/4 oz Frangelico Liqueur
1/2 oz Quince Syrup
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
Dry shake all ingredients for 15-20 seconds. Add ice and shake for another 15-20 seconds. Strain slowly into a large coupe glass. Rim and garnish with lemon peel.