The Basics Tips & Tricks

Secret Bartending Ingredient: Egg Whites

Pisco Sour
Pisco Sour Image: / Tim Nusog

Nothing tastes as voluptuous as a drink made with fresh egg whites. The recent cocktail resurgence has introduced a new generation of bartenders and drinkers to the guts and glory of this simple yet often-feared ingredient.

The silly, unfounded and tiring commotion surrounding the use of real eggs in cocktails now borders on entertaining. (For the record, they’re safe to drink.) Just buy fresh eggs and don’t let them waste away in the fridge. Pasteurized egg whites from a jar or powdered egg whites are in no way a reasonable substitute.

Now back to the glory. You can add an egg white to any sour-style cocktail, including a Whiskey Sour, White Lady or Pisco Sour. (Use the yolk for an omelet.) Shake the ingredients with ice and the passion of a three-minute-kiss, and you’ll have something tantamount to a sensual explosion. Egg whites won’t change the flavor of the drink but will give it a luxurious creaminess. The flavors will linger on your palate and you’ll feel a pleasant, silky frothiness and the snap, crackle, pop of a milk-fed bowl of Rice Krispies. I often use these two sours to entice my friends to try a cocktail with egg whites. Be brave.