The Only Type Of Drink You Should Add Egg Whites To

The first published use of egg whites in a cocktail was for a whiskey sour in the 1860s and over a century later, you can find dozens of drinks with the velvety texture and frothy head that egg whites bestow, from the gin fizz to the vodka creamsicle. And it's no coincidence that egg white cocktails also have citrus in common. After all, this is a non-negotiable pairing backed by culinary science. 

Egg whites are the protein-rich, thickening component of eggs, and when you introduce oxygen to them, they change form to produce a stretchy lattice that traps air, resulting in a fluffy, frothy texture in cocktails. Meanwhile, the citrus juice, which is a stabilizer, ensures the texture remains intact.

Egg whites and citrus not only work hand in hand to provide that silky consistency, but they also give cocktails a more cohesive flavor profile. In addition, they are a flavor neutralizer that effectively smooths out the abrasive tartness in citrus juice.

How to add egg whites to a cocktail

We use egg whites in cocktails to heighten their sophistication and complexity, but it takes both effort and technique. All egg white cocktails are shaken cocktails; Stirring doesn't provide sufficient force to unravel the proteins in egg whites, thereby achieving the desired consistency. Furthermore, shaking the ingredients in a shaker without ice, or dry shaking, is the best way to foam egg whites into your cocktails.

Professional mixologists have differing opinions on methodology; Some recommend reverse shaking the cocktail by shaking the liquid ingredients first with ice, then removing the ice, adding an egg white, and dry shaking. Others recommend using a blender or hand frother to shake all the ingredients together.

Many homemade egg white recipes forgo all the fancy equipment, directing you to add all ingredients with the egg white to a mason jar and shake vigorously until a frothy head appears. However you choose to add egg whites to your whiskey sour or creamsicle, using fresh eggs is a non-negotiable rule as it will prevent that dreaded sulfuric odor from infiltrating your cocktail.