The Easy Method For Prepping Foamy Cocktails In Advance

If you already recognize the allure of that creamy head of egg white foam that many have come to expect on a classic fizz or sour cocktail, we probably don't need to do much waxing poetic on the velvety softness that egg whites impart in certain cocktails. Or, for that matter, on the disappointment of ordering a fizz or sour only to have it arrive sans that lush egg white foam, which occasionally happens. One reason is that working with raw egg whites requires attention to food safety. However, even with safe handling, there's still a 1 in 20,000 risk of salmonella, as the University of Minnesota Extension points out. So, not every cocktail establishment will embrace taking on that responsibility or the related potential liability (via The New York Times). Perhaps even more intimidating, however, is all the extra work foamy cocktails require to make them frothy. 

First, there's separating the yolk from the white. Then there's deciding how to put that yolk to good use. Then there's the fact that foamy cocktails benefit from the two-step dry-shaking process, which involves shaking the ingredients once without ice, and then again with, as Liquor explains. That said, dry-shaking your whisky sour is not necessary. Nor is cracking an egg every single time you set about to construct a foamy cocktail. Instead, when you're making multiples, there is a prep method you can do in advance that's a game-changing timesaver — with an added bonus!

Many mixologists endorse batch-prepping egg whites for cocktails

Batch-prepping egg whites for foamy cocktails is a common practice, per CocktailGreen, especially among those who have whipped up one frothy egg-white-enhanced cocktail after another, individually, until they eventually realized there might be a more efficient approach. Various mixologists employ their own unique methods, but what virtually all would appear to have in common is the practice of carefully separating multiple fresh eggs, storing the whites in a clean container, and divvying them up into the drinks at a rate of ½ an ounce to roughly 1 ounce per individual cocktail. Using a pourable container is helpful but not strictly necessary. If you're anticipating making a round of pisco sours for six people, you will need roughly 3 to 6 ounces of egg whites. According to Cooks Illustrated, you'll get that much from approximately three to six medium-sized eggs, and large and extra-large varieties will yield slightly more. 

Since even a trace amount of yolk can interfere with frothiness, The American Egg Board suggests separating eggs straight out of the refrigerator because eggs separate most cleanly when cold; Difford's Guide endorses using an egg-separating gadget. Some mixologists add stabilizers, vodka, and sugar, but in minuscule amounts, like ⅒ of a teaspoon per cocktail, per CocktailGreen, that may not be practical when constructing foaming cocktails in less than multiples of 10. Otherwise, a pinch of cream of tartar can easily maximize and stabilize the foam. 

But is batch-prepping egg whites safe for use in cocktails?

While eggs separate most cleanly when refrigerator-cold, they froth up best when warmed at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes, via The American Egg Board. That, of course, brings up the question: Is it safe to do so? It is; according to the food-safety-focused Lange Law Firm, egg whites can safely remain at room temperature for up to two hours. Moreover, if you don't use all your egg whites in one go, you can still safely refrigerate them for up to two days. According to Virginia Tech Extension, you can freeze leftover egg whites safely for up to one year.

That said, egg whites work best in foamy cocktails when used immediately after cracking, according to Sergio Leanza, a London bartender and cocktail bar proprietor (via Liquor). And both Leanza and Difford's Guide points out that even fresh egg whites can quickly develop an eggy smell as they start to warm toward room temperature. However, that can easily be circumvented by adding a drop or two of bitters or other aromatics (citrus zest, nutmeg, cinnamon. etc.).

Regarding that bonus alluded to above, batch-prepping your egg whites for rounds of foamy cocktails means no one has to witness your cracking and separating eggs. As HuffPost Life demonstrates, some people feel self-conscious about their egg-cracking. And some might feel queasy watching; The Washington Post points out.