While cooking with eggs is a fairly common practice in the kitchen, adding eggs to cocktails may be a little unusual for most.
Why use raw egg whites in a cocktail?
The use of raw egg whites in cocktails recipes dates back to the late 1800s when cocktails first started making an appearance. Somewhere along the line, someone discovered that egg white cocktail recipes maintained their smooth texture much longer than those without.
Egg whites are a magical ingredient in many drinks that give them a sophisticated silky smooth texture.
When shaking drinks, egg whites can add some much needed depth and texture to your drinks. They add a rich creamy mouthfeel to a cocktail while also causing the drink to foam up and get that beautiful smooth texture.
Is it safe?
There's always some risk to ingesting raw eggs in anything.
You have the risk of food poisoning from salmonella, and the most susceptible include youth, older adults and pregnant women (who shouldn't be drinking anyway).
There are a few things that you can do to reduce your risks.
- Use pasteurized eggs.
- Use fresh eggs. Know where your eggs come from, and if you're uncertain of their freshness, avoid them.
- Avoid if they smell.
- Avoid if the egg white is watery. The egg white should be a gel-like substance.
- Check for cracks or flaws in the egg shell.
Make sure you clean the outside of the shell before cracking an egg.
What cocktail has a raw egg in it?
Eggs are used in cocktails where you desire a more creamy body.
An egg white doesn't add much flavor to a drink, but it does add a "frothiness" or "body".
Using an entire egg is a whole different story. A couple of popular drinks that include egg whites are the Clover Club and the Morning Glory Fizz. Personally I think egg whites pair very well with gin and sours (lemon & lime).
How to add an egg to your cocktail
To create that frothy look and feel that we're after with egg whites, we need to stretch and aerate the egg whites.
We can accomplish this with a Dry Shake.
This is simply achieved by mixing your cocktail ingredients with the egg white and shaking with no ice. Afterwards, you can add ice and shake again.
Here's a video to illustrate the technique:
Can I use the whole egg?
Yes you can! Using a whole egg completely changes your cocktail. Unlike egg whites, the yolk does add flavor to your drink. We commonly refer to these drinks as Flips.
A modern classic recipe to try is a Fernet Flip.