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If you’re a fan of fizzes, flips and sassy sours, you know the quintessential cocktail requires practice, patience and the perfect balance of blended flavor. And as tastes become braver and recipes become bolder, cocktails can consist of ingredients more deliciously daring than ever. Bacon and barbeque, you say? Beet puree? Squash?
As strange as some of these additions may seem, many drink-lovers and bartenders balk at the inclusion of an ingredient that’s been around for ages: eggs. We know it might sound unusual to imagine gulping down raw whites with your whiskey, but eggs have been a key part of classic cocktails since the golden drinking days in the early 1900s. And since then, they’ve been incorporated into dozens of oft-ordered drinks. Eggnog, anyone?
If we’ve sparked your attention, you’re probably wondering whether there’s anything to all this egg excitement. Are cocktails with egg whites good? Are they safe? More importantly, how should you go about making a cocktail with eggs? From mixing method to safety to classic and quirky cocktail recipes, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about adding egg white to your drinks.
Why Add Egg White to Cocktails?
So what’s all the hype about and why can egg whites be an excellent addition to your cocktail creations? Believe it or not, the answer lies not in the flavor, but in the froth. Much like the milk foam on cappuccinos in the coffee world, egg whites add luscious, fluffy foam atop your cocktail. They also contribute to a rich, creamy body so every sip is smooth and silky.
This reaction occurs because the egg’s main protein, ovalbumin, unravels when you mix, beat or shake an egg. As it unwinds, the ovalbumin traps air into its folds, becoming fluffy and frothy. Like whipping eggs into a meringue, shaking egg white in your cocktail gives it an immediate foamy quality, enhancing its texture without affecting its taste.
How to Add Egg Whites to a Cocktail
Now that you know why you should mix in that meringue-like substance to add silky smoothness to your cocktail, you might want to know the best way to formulate flips, fizzes and fun-flavored drinks that feature egg whites. So how should you incorporate egg whites for the creamiest cocktails? Here’s how to handle your egg white additions:
- Separate Safely
In cocktails that use only egg whites, you’ll need to separate the white from the yolk. You can go about this in a few different ways, but keep a few details in mind before you begin.
First, your hands should always be extremely clean. Your fingers are likely to come into contact with the shell, white or yolk when cracking the egg, so it’s important to prevent germs or bacteria from entering the cocktail. When choosing the right egg, remember to pick fresh, well-refrigerated specimens. Fresher eggs have thicker membranes between the yolk and egg white. Also, it’s easier to separate cold eggs because their yolks are firmer, making them less likely to break.
Begin your separation by cracking the egg gently against a flat, smooth surface to ensure no eggshell slips into the egg. You can crack the egg cleanly in half and carefully switch the yolk back and forth between the two shell halves, letting the egg white ooze out into the measuring cup, bowl or container you’re using. While this is a common method for removing the yolk, it can pose a small risk of health hazards, because any bacteria present on the shell will come into contact with the egg white.
If you’re feeling adventurous, use your hands to sift the yolk from the egg white or, for a better chance of avoiding bacteria altogether, you can utilize different utensils. Crack the egg through a slotted spoon and let the egg white run through while the yolk sits on top. Use a small funnel that will hold the yolk while the egg white drains or let an egg separator do the work for you. You can also pour the entirety of the egg into a bowl and scoop the yolk out with a teaspoon, making sure not to leave any yolk traces.
- Shake It Up
The key to forming the perfect froth is being sure to shake the mixture correctly. Integrating the egg with the rest of the cocktail ingredients and completely unwinding the egg proteins requires a decent amount of elbow work and at least a minute of hard shaking.
For the best results, combine the egg white with the other ingredients in a shaker without ice and give the mixture a long “dry shake” to activate the chemical process of the proteins. After about 30 seconds of vigorous shaking, the drink should appear velvety with foam. Add the ice in and shake a second round to dilute and chill. If your arms hurt when you’re finished, it means you’ve done it right.
- Sift or Strain
We know you shook your shaker as hard as you could, but there’s always a small chance of leftover egg white remains that didn’t whip completely. To avoid encountering any gooey strands of escaped egg white when sipping your cocktail, sift the drink through a strainer as you pour from shaker to glass.
Classic Egg White Cocktails
Ready to put your extraordinary egg-shaking and separating skills to the test in your own frothy cocktail? You can try your hand at a variety of iconic drinks to delight your taste buds and your culinary creativity. From sours to standby classics, these sample recipes will have you hooked. Here are some traditional tastes to try yourself:
- Clover Club
Try this traditional taste with a touch of fruit and foam. Here’s what to do to create your own classic.
- Ingredients: 2 oz. gin, ¼ oz. raspberry syrup, 1 egg white, 1 tsp sugar, juice of ½ fresh lemon.
- Directions: Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and mix vigorously. Pour your finished fizzy concoction into a glass and serve for a fresh flavor.
- Coffee Cocktail
This classic cocktail dates back to the 1800s and, despite its name, contains no traces of coffee. Instead, this drink gets its title from the color it assumes when correctly mixed — and because you can enjoy it before and after dinner like a good cup of coffee with a cappuccino-like eggy foam. Here’s the recipe:
- Ingredients: 1 ½ oz. ruby port, 1 ½ oz. brandy or cognac, 1 small egg, 1 tsp simple syrup, grated nutmeg garnish.
- Directions: Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake well with ice and strain. Serve in a sour or port glass with a dusting of grated nutmeg for a garnish. Sit back and sip.
- Commodore Cocktail
Treat your taste buds to a rich, rummy, raspberry-infused flavor fusion in this classic cocktail reminiscent of fancy parties and early-1900s America. Test out this recipe:
- Ingredients: 2 oz. Bacardi, 1 egg white, 2 tsp sugar, dash of grenadine, dash of lemon juice, dash of raspberry liqueur.
- Directions: Combine your ingredients in a cocktail shaker without ice and dry shake. Add ice to chill, firmly shake again and strain to serve in a chilled cocktail glass.
- New Orleans Fizz
This one is a classic that gained fame in 1800s-era New Orleans, where it became a Mardi Gras favorite. Creamy, citrusy and refreshing, this drink goes the distance — and you’ll definitely love its fizz and full flavor. Here’s how to craft your own New Orleans Fizz:
- Ingredients: 1 ½ oz. gin, 2 oz. milk or cream, ½ oz. lime juice, ½ oz. lemon juice, 1 ¼ oz. simple syrup, 1 small egg white, 2 dashes orange flower water, club soda.
- Directions: Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and dry shake. Add ice and give the mixture another round of vigorous shaking to ensure blending. Use a chilled highball glass to enjoy your strained cocktail when it’s finished. Add club soda on top for some extra fizz.
- Pink Lady
Craving a girly drink that looks as pretty as its appealing, tart taste? This one is perfect for the ladies. With fruity undertones, the aromatic addition of gin, the foamy fizz of an egg white and a dry dash of tartness in each sip, the Pink Lady is perfect for parties or relaxing in style. Here’s how to make your own:
- Ingredients: 1 ½ oz. gin, ¾ oz. applejack, ¼ oz. lemon juice, 1 egg white, 1-2 dashes of grenadine, maraschino cherry garnish.
- Directions: Pour your sassy ingredients into a cocktail shaker and dry shake with all your might. Add ice and shake again until everything is blended into a pleasant pink, foamy mixture. Strain and serve in a chilled cocktail glass with a cute maraschino cherry on top.
- Pisco Sour
Treat your taste buds to an earthy, floral flavor with a touch of citrus and a silky body. This egg white cocktail will take off the edge. Here’s how to make yours:
- Ingredients: 3 oz. Pisco, ¾ oz. simple syrup, 1 egg white, 1 oz. fresh lime juice, 1 dash Angostura bitters.
- Directions: Combine egg white, pisco, lime and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Shake without ice to integrate the egg white, then add ice and shake again to chill properly. Pour into a chilled glass and dash with bitters atop the egg foam.
- Pomegranate Gin Fizz
Ready to get playful with aromatic flavor and a fruity twist? The Pomegranate Gin Fizz combines citrusy, floral and herbal ingredients for light, accented flavor with extra egg white fizz. Here’s how to create this summery favorite:
- Ingredients: 2 oz. gin, ½ oz. PAMA liqueur, juice of ½ lime, 1 tsp lavender simple syrup, 1 egg white.
- Directions: Combine egg whites, syrup, spirits and juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and give the mixture a strong shaking for about 30 seconds to blend the ingredients completely. Strain over ice into a chilled highball glass and serve with soda water on top.
- Somnus Fizz
You’ve never seen a cocktail as aromatic and exotic as this. With hints of citrus and floral flavors in a creamy liqueur base with smooth egg white, this India-inspired drink combines spice and lightness in a thick, refreshing liquid. Here’s how to craft your own exotic blend:
- Ingredients: 1 ½ oz. Somnus Cream Liqueur, 1 oz. gin, ½ ounce limoncello, 1 egg white, ½ tsp superfine sugar, ½ scoop ice, 3 drops orange blossom water, 2 drops rose water.
- Directions: Combine ingredients in a blender and mix until the ice is liquified. Pour the cocktail into a pilsner glass and serve topped with soda water. Your taste buds will travel far.
Modern Egg White Cocktails
With fresh flavors, quirky ingredients and unusual combinations, culinary savants and bartenders are constantly creating both modern takes on traditional cocktails and completely new drinks that dazzle. If your tastes are daring and your creative side craves a challenge, try your hand at these crazy new cocktail recipes:
- Aura in Me
This cocktail is a radiant combination of sweet, spicy, elegant and edgy. Combining citrus, silk and spice, it’s a starburst of flavor in a completely new drinking experience. Here’s how to mix up your own:
- Ingredients: 2 oz. Bols Genever, ½ oz. lemon juice, ½ oz. elderflower syrup, 2 tsp pure pine honey, 1 tsp pink pepper, 1 tsp cardamom, 1 egg white.
- Directions: Mix the pink pepper and cardamom in a cocktail shaker, then add Genever and stir. Pour in the rest of the ingredients, including the egg white, and dry shake. Then shake again with ice. Double strain and serve in a chilled cocktail glass. Your tongue will sparkle with surprise.
- Apple Blow Fizz
Craving a cocktail that’s citrusy and sweet like summer but deep and warm like an autumn draught? With its complicated flavor combination, bubbly base and smooth texture, this cocktail will keep you coming back for more. Here’s how to make yours:
- Ingredients: 1 ½ oz. apple brandy, ¾ oz. lemon juice, 1 tsp sugar, 1 egg white, chilled club soda.
- Directions: Combine all ingredients but the club soda in a cocktail shaker and dry mix until the drink is foamy. Add ice and shake again, then strain into a pre-chilled highball glass and add club soda on top for extra fizz.
- Devil’s Handshake
Sweet, spicy and fruity all at once, this cocktail features the unusual addition of ginger puree, which adds an irresistible tartness. The silky quality of the egg white gives the Devil’s Handshake its intriguing smoothness and lets every unique flavor combine for a devilish depth in taste. Add slices of ginger to a blender to make the puree and freeze in cubes if you need to wait until later to mix your drink. Here’s the recipe to try on your own:
- Ingredients: 1 ½ oz. tequila, ¾ oz. lime juice, 1 oz. pineapple juice, ½ oz. simple syrup, 1 egg white, 1 tsp ginger puree, lime slice garnish.
- Directions: Combine your ingredients in a cocktail shaker. If desired, add an extra teaspoon of sugar to counter the tartness of the ginger. Dry shake the mixture, then add ice and shake again for 30 seconds. Serve with ice in a highball glass and add a lime wedge to top it off.
- El Pepino
Looking for an earthy taste with a hint of cooling freshness? The El Pepino uses gorgeous green ingredients along with egg white to create a flavor reminiscent of summer dew. Try this cocktail at brunch or to cool down from a humid day. Here’s how to make it:
- Ingredients: 1 ½ oz. Milagro Reposado Tequila, 1 oz. lime juice, 3 oz. Bols Triple Sec, ¾ oz. simple syrup, 3 cucumber slices, 6 cilantro leaves, 1 egg white.
- Directions: Mix cilantro, cucumber and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker, then add the remaining ingredients and ice. After shaking vigorously, strain into a serving glass and add another cucumber slice as an extra garnish. Summer’s never felt so cool.
- Eucalyptus Martini
With a fresh, refreshing, cooling flavor, this martini is light and uniquely spiced. For a citrus chill, an unusual eucalyptus undertone and a fizzy finish, try the recipe for yourself. Here’s how:
- Ingredients: 1 ½ oz. gin, ¾ eucalyptus syrup, ½ oz. lime juice, 1 egg white, eucalyptus leaf garnish.
- Directions: Pour your ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Dry shake first to emulsify egg, then add ice and shake again to chill. Double strain your drink into your favorite cocktail glass and add the eucalyptus leaf as a garnish. Enjoy as a cooling balm on a warm summer day.
- Look Better Naked Margarita
Interested in keeping it healthy and all-natural when concocting your cocktails? For a drink that’s easy on your waistline, soothing to your stomach and still fantastic in flavor, try a Look Better Naked Margarita. It’s packed with pure ingredients that will leave you feeling fresh. Here’s what to do:
- Ingredients: 1 ½ oz. Partida Estate Reposado Tequila, ½ oz. organic acai, ¾ oz. organic agave nectar, 4-in. rosemary sprig, 1 egg white, 1 freshly squeezed lime, ¼ cup salt, ¼ cup organic green peppercorns.
- Directions: First, prepare your cocktail glass by rimming it with the salt and green peppercorns. Next, take the rosemary leaves off their sprig and muddle — mash and mix — them in a glass. Add the remaining ingredients, pour the mixture into a cocktail shaker and shake until blended. Strain the concoction into your rimmed glass and top with a portion of rosemary sprig. Cheers to good health!
- Polished Princess
If you love all the subtle spices and fantastic flavors of fall, this cocktail is terrific for your taste buds. A soft, warm vanilla vodka is the basis for a blending of pumpkin and cranberry with the extra richness and cream of egg white. Try this temptation with your Thanksgiving dinner or to warm yourself on a crisp autumn evening. Here’s how to make your own:
- Ingredients: 1 ½ oz. vanilla vodka, pinch of pumpkin spice, 5 cranberries, ½ oz. fresh lemon juice, 1 egg white, ¾ oz. simple syrup.
- Directions: Combine your simple syrup, spice, lemon and cranberries in a mixing glass, then add the remainder of the ingredients and dry shake. Add ice and shake again, then strain into a chilled cocktail or martini glass. You can top with extra cranberries for a floating garnish to this harvest-time treat.
Holiday Egg Cocktails
Trying to spread a little holiday cheer with the warmth of a cocktail or two for company? Or maybe you’re looking to usher in the season on your own with a little taste of festivity on a Friday night. If you want your drinks as merry as that time of year, try these holiday egg cocktails on your own:
- Brandy Milk Punch
What’s better on a cold winter night than the warmth of some brandy in a creamy cocktail? This classic cocktail dates to the 17th century and its affinity for punch at parties. With the inclusion of a whole egg instead of just egg white, the Brandy Milk Punch is smooth like eggnog and packs an extra punch. Here’s how to make yours:
- Ingredients: 2 oz. brandy, 4 oz. milk, 1 oz. simple syrup, 1 egg, ground nutmeg garnish.
- Directions: Combine your ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Dry shake, add ice and shake again to integrate the egg. Strain the mixture into your favorite punch glass, garnish with a dusting of nutmeg and curl up for some cozy cocktail enjoyment.
- Holiday Spice
Need a little taste of the tropical during the dark days of winter? The Holiday Spice Cocktail combines the flavors of Christmas with a touch of the summer season for a series of warm sips with a creamy twist. Here’s how to make your own:
- Ingredients: ½ oz. coconut vodka, ¼ oz. pineapple juice, ½ oz. cream of coconut cream, 1 oz. whole milk, 1 egg white, 2 dashes allspice, 2 dashes cinnamon, 2 dashes nutmeg.
- Directions: Combine one dash of each spice and the rest of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice or dry shake first and add in ice for a second shake. Strain the drink into your own old-fashioned chilled glass for style and top with the rest of the spices.
- Pumpkin Spice Martini
Enjoy all the autumnal goodness of a pumpkin spice latte with an alcoholic twist in this cocktail that combines sweet, strong and spicy. Mix and match with your favorite pumpkin liqueur and anise liqueur to create the depth of flavor you desire with a frothy egg white foam. Here’s how:
- Ingredients: 1 ½ oz. rye whiskey, 1 ½ oz. pumpkin liqueur, ¼ oz. anise liqueur, ½ oz. triple sec, 1 egg white, 3 dashes of angostura aromatic bitters, grated nutmeg garnish.
- Directions: Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Dry shake, then fill with ice and vigorously shake again for about 30 seconds. Strain the concoction into a cocktail glass and sprinkle with grated nutmeg. Every sip will be like pumpkin pie with a punch.
Recipes That Reach Beyond the White
Egg white isn’t the only egg ingredient you can use to amp up your cocktails — egg yolks and whole eggs add other benefits, too, like a fuller flavor and a creamier texture with a hint of eggnoggy enjoyment. If you’re brave and love even richer flavor, try these recipes that use eggs in different ways than just the whites:
- Colleen Brawn
With a backstory as bold as its flavor, this cocktail dates back to 20th-century Irish murder mysteries and has recently reemerged to the public tongue with its robust, rich taste. Enjoy the enigma of this daring drink by trying the recipe for yourself. Here’s how:
- Ingredients: 1 ½ oz. rye whiskey, 1 ½ oz. green Chartreuse, 1 ½ oz. Benedictine, 1 fresh egg, 1 tsp sugar, ground cinnamon and nutmeg garnish.
- Directions: Pour all your ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Dry shake and shake again, making sure the mixture is well-blended. Serve in chilled cocktail glasses with cinnamon and nutmeg garnishes. This recipe is fit for two.
- Night Cap
An intriguing mix of anisette, brandy and curacao, the Night Cap is a classic cocktail reminiscent of 1930s-era America. Its use of egg yolk gives it a simple but interesting twist. Here’s how to make yours:
- Ingredients: 1 oz. brandy, 1 oz. anisette or absinthe, 1 oz. curacao liqueur, 1 egg yolk.
- Directions: Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and dry shake until the shaker is frosted. Add ice to chill and shake again, then strain into your own cocktail glass. Enjoy at the end of a long day or as a casual enjoyment whenever you can use a strong, smooth taste.
- Tom and Jerry
If you’re craving the warm, wintery undertones of a drink as sweet and frothy as your favorite latte, sample the cognac and rum delight of this spiced cocktail. Served hot, the Tom and Jerry is perfect for parties — especially holiday gatherings. The preparation might be more complicated than other cocktails, but the result is well worth it. Reward yourself with this recipe:
- Ingredients: 12 separated eggs, 1 tsp cream of tartar, 1 stick softened butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cloves, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 3 oz. rum, 1 oz. cognac, 4 oz. hot milk, ground nutmeg garnish.
- Directions: Because this drink requires you to prepare a batter first, it’s best to prepare in bulk. To begin, separate the egg whites from yolks and place them each in different bowls, then add cream of tartar to the whites and whip until fluffy like meringue. Add the sugar and butter to the egg yolks and mix until smooth and liquid, then combine the egg white and egg yolk mixtures and add the spices. Cover and refrigerate the batter until it’s time to make your individual drinks.
To make each cocktail, pre-heat your mugs and heat up the milk, making sure it doesn’t boil. Add a teaspoon of batter and 1 oz. rum and cognac to each cup, then fill with the hot milk, stir until the substance is frothy and add a pinch of nutmeg on top. If you like brandy better than cognac, you can substitute.
Eggnog could be one of your Christmas favorites, or maybe it’s one of those drinks you’ve always been a bit too scared to try because, as its name hints, it uses egg as its key ingredient and not just egg white. Eggnog is defined by its unique incorporation of both egg and milk or cream, making the cocktail silky, thick and creamy with a touch of eggy flavor.
For nogs with added interest for your taste buds, try these unique variations on the classic Christmas drink:
- Brandy Eggnog
Simple and classy, reminiscent of holiday flavor and easy to whip up on your own, this rich, creamy cocktail calls up the classic nog satisfaction with the extra enjoyment of homemade authenticity. Using only four ingredients, it’s a treat you’ll want to indulge in over and over.
While brandy is the go-to liquor for this cocktail, you can mix up the recipe by using whiskey or rum instead. Gold or aged rums work best, and try Bourbon, Irish, rye or blended Canadian whiskey for unique flavor variations on traditional eggnog. Here’s how to make yours:
- Ingredients: 1 oz. brandy, whiskey or rum, 1 ¼ oz. milk, 1 egg yolk, ½ oz. simple syrup, nutmeg or cinnamon garnish.
- Directions: Combine the milk, simple syrup, egg and alcohol in a cocktail shaker. Dry shake without the ice, then give the mixture a good second shake with ice for half a minute. Strain into your favorite cocktail glass and add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg as a grated garnish. Enjoy!
- Texas Farm Nog
Packing a punch with layered spices and a fresh, farmy feel, this twist on traditional eggnog incorporates the rich, nutty flavors of sherry and aged tequila along with raw milk and fresh eggs. Two days of rest are best for fusing all the flavors in this drink before serving. Here’s how to mix your own:
- Ingredients: 2 whole organic eggs, 6 oz. raw milk, 4 oz. heavy cream, 2 ½ oz. nutty sherry, 2 oz. tequila, 3 oz. sugar, pinch of cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg, pinch of salt, pinch of pepper, nutmeg garnish, star anise garnish.
- Directions: Beginning with the eggs and finishing with the heavy cream, add all ingredients except the garnishes to a blender and mix until smooth. Refrigerate the drink for two days for the best taste and serve garnished with star anise and grated nutmeg for a refreshing feel.
Is Adding Eggs to a Cocktail Safe?
With all the stories of foodborne illness floating around and the especially bad rep assigned to the consumption of raw eggs, you might be a bit concerned about the safety of sipping them in a cocktail. Will you get sick if there are egg whites in your drink? Almost certainly not.
Despite the widespread misconception that you can catch Salmonella from any uncooked egg, only one in 20,000 eggs is actually contaminated. With FDA standards and cleaning regulations in place, the chance of salmonella making its way into sold eggs is so minimal that even in salmonella-infected flocks, fewer than one percent of resulting eggs carry the bacteria.
Although you can usually trust store-bought eggs to be safe and healthy, bacteria can always be a possibility — especially if the eggs aren’t kept fresh. To make sure you’re picking, storing and handling your eggs in the best way to minimize health risks and craft the yummiest cocktail without cause for concern, follow these safety tips:
- Choose Wisely: When shopping for eggs, always purchase refrigerated cartons only. Check the container for an expiration date to make sure you’re choosing the freshest pack and look for a USDA stamp to verify health inspection. Before heading off to the checkout counter, open the carton and inspect the shells for any damage or cracks.
- Store Safely: To make sure your eggs stay as fresh as possible, refrigerate them right away, preferably in the coldest corner of the fridge at 45 degrees or lower. Try not to keep your carton in the door — the constant opening and closing of the fridge will make the temperature there less stable and the freshness of the eggs less likely to last. You should also keep the eggs in their original container.
- Don’t Take Chances: When it comes to preserving freshness, three weeks of storage is the USDA-recommended timeframe for keeping eggs. If you come across an egg with cracks, bad spots or a cloudy or abnormal appearance when cracked, don’t serve it in your drink. When you’re not sure whether an egg is fresh enough, it’s best to be safe and toss it.
Choose Sauder Eggs for Excellent Cocktails
To make sure you have the freshest eggs for fantastic flavor in your creative cocktails, choose Sauder Eggs. Emphasizing integrity, excellence, family and freshness for 60 years, we offer superior quality in all our eggs. To start crafting your cocktails with excellent egg whites, search for our stores today.