The Best Way To Foam Egg Whites For Your Cocktail

A properly made craft cocktail isn't just about the flavors of the ingredients you pour into a glass — it's also about presentation and the experience of sipping a cocktail, including, in some cases, the textures achieved by an expert mixologist. And mixology isn't magic. There are skills even amateur cocktail makers can acquire that elevate drinks made at home. Making a cocktail with egg whites is one of those skills, but until now, it's often been a messy experience.

The most common method for foaming egg whites is called a dry shake, which, according to Diageo Bar Academy, means putting ingredients into a bar shaker and vigorously shaking the mixture before adding ice. Serious Eats explains the most common problem with the dry shake, and that's the mess it makes. If you're using a Boston shaker — that's the combination of a mixing glass and a shaker tin — the glass and shaker tin are typically joined at an angle. The problem is that the shaker is a higher temperature during a dry shake, which prevents the tin from forming a tight seal around the glass, leading to some spillage. What's a mixologist to do?

Align the glass and mixing tin straight up and down

So you've assembled your ingredients for the swanky Stiff Upper Lip: Belvedere vodka, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, an egg white, and housemade demerara simple syrup. And you don't want to slosh these top-shelf ingredients all over your countertop. What's the Serious Eats solution? "When you're dry-shaking ... align the glass dead-center into the mixing tin, rather than at an angle, and smack it hard with your hand to seal it," the outlet writes.

Once you've sealed the glass and tin straight up and down (rather than at an angle), you can give that shaker the full 30-second shake that Diageo Bar Academy recommends for properly foaming the egg whites for your fancy cocktail. To finish your cocktail, after you've done the dry shake, you add ice, shake once again to chill the ingredients, and strain your cocktail into a glass, which leaves a beautifully frothy layer atop your drink. Once you've mastered the dry shake, you can even use egg whites to dress up simple cocktails like the classic whiskey sour.