Egg Drinks

by Naren Young

For an ingredient that has been used in cocktails for hundreds of years, eggs create such divisiveness whenever one is broken into a cocktail shaker. But why? Flips have been around since the Colonial era and while I don’t expect every layman to know what constitutes a ‘flip,’ the idea of using eggs in drinks is certainly nothing new.

Even the Fizz, at one time the king of all morning libations, has been doctored up with eggs in several iterations that might go under various monikers: Silver (egg white), Golden (egg yolk), Royal (whole egg) and Diamond (champagne in lieu of soda). All are delicious, the frothy head offering a texture that is both unique and ambrosial.

And that’s before we get to the most celebrated Fizz of all – the Ramos. How one of the most unlikely combinations of flavors ended up in the same glass still baffles me. But the point is, this venerable drink – created supposedly by Henry Ramos in New Orleans circa 1880s – just wouldn’t be the same without its defining characteristic, its frothy texture, only achieved by some often overly-excited shaking. 

There’s almost not an occasion that I crack an egg white (or heaven forbid, a whole egg) into a shaker that a customer in front of me stops mid conversation, inquiring what I’m doing. Some are curious, others are visibly disgusted. And most of their comments are typically not favorable ones either. It’s like I just put dog food in someone’s drink. So, why the ongoing fear?

Aren’t you afraid of salmonella, they’ll often ask? No, I’m afraid of poisonous snakes, clowns and swimming in the open ocean, in that order. Of course I have the luxury of someone who has worked with eggs for twenty years, so I know the risks and I also know the preventative measures. I also know how amazing eggs are in cocktails and how the texture they add cannot be ignored. One of my responses to guests with such apprehensions often goes something like this:

“Have you never tried eggnog?”

“Yes, of course.”

“Well what do you think eggnog is made from?” (Maybe they buy that industrial crap in cartons posing as eggnog).

I wonder how many of these people that are apprehensive about imbibing a drink with raw eggs also eat raw fish such as sushi or steak tartare. Why don’t these foods carry the same scary baggage? I put it down to a clear misunderstanding about the potential dangers of salmonella, which of course must be taken seriously, but are nowhere near as life threatening as people insinuate. Why aren’t there the same standards for a restaurant that serves raw, potentially dangerous foods and a bar that uses eggs in cocktails? 

Here’s a couple of things to think about. According to the website www.incredibleegg.org, they say that American scientists estimate that approximately 1 in every 20, 000 eggs will be contaminated with the bacteria salmonella enteritidis, which also mean that the average human will encounter a contaminated egg once every 84 years. And . . . that risk substantially decreases if the eggs are stored and handled properly. If they are, the site goes on to say, eggs pose no more health risks than any other perishable foods.

Like anything we push across our respective bars, we have a responsibility to our guests to ensure that they are safe when they are at our bar and when they leave. This if course includes the responsible service of alcohol but also the proper storing of all food items, especially eggs. As long as they’re fresh and stored in the fridge at all times, then you should never have any issues. 

When I see a bar that keeps their egg whites in a squeezie bottle sitting on the bar at room temperature all night, however, then I am most definitely not ordering a Pisco Sour from them. Who knows how old the contents are and when was the last time that container was properly sanitized? Cracking eggs to order takes more time (not much), but is much safer in my opinion.

So what are the classic egg drinks? What are the drinks that absolutely suffer when the egg is left out? Besides those already mentioned, I do enjoy a Classic Whiskey Sour (although it should be said that these probably don’t need egg in them; it’s just a personal preference). The Pisco Sour, however, is a drink that must have egg white and in Peru, this is actually a blended cocktail (not a shaken one like the rest of us make it), making a strong case for this viriled apparatus. 

Whatever drink it is, and whichever technique you use, every drink containing eggs should have some sort of aroma added at the end. No egg drink should ever be left without a final aromatic flourish, in my opinion, as within a couple of minutes the drink will develop a very unappealing sulfurous or ‘eggy’ aroma. Something simple like a grating of nutmeg or cinnamon, a lemon twist broken over the surface, drops of bitters (such as on a Pisco Sour) or a spray of absinthe or house made tincture can all work wonders.  

RECIPES

These are my top 10 favorite egg drinks of all time

Coffee Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz. port
  • 1 oz. Cognac
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 dash Angostura – optional


METHOD: Shake extremely hard & strain

GLASS: Footed Highball

GARNISH: Grated nutmeg

 

Spiced Cherry Flip

  • 1 oz. bourbon
  • ½ oz. maraschino
  • 2 oz. cranberry ale OR framboise Lambic beer
  • ½ oz. agave nectar
  • 1 tsp. cherry butter
  • 1 whole egg


METHOD: Dry shake ingredients

Add ice & shake very very hard

Strain into glass

GLASS: Footed Highball/Fizz

GARNISH: Grated nutmeg

 

Pisco Sour

  • 2 oz. Pisco
  • ¾ oz. lime juice
  • ¾ oz. simple syrup
  • 1 egg white


METHOD: Dry shake first

Add remaining ingredients & shake very hard. Strain

GLASS: Large Coupe

GARNISH: Angostura bitters drops on top

 

Royal Sloe Gin Fizz

  • 2 oz. sloe gin
  • ¾ oz. lemon juice
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • 1 whole egg


METHOD: Dry shake first

Add remaining ingredients with ice & shake very hard

Strain and top with soda

GLASS: Footed Highball/Fizz

GARNISH: Lemon twist (discard)

 

Ramos Gin Fizz

  • 2 oz. Beefeater gin 
  • ½ oz. lemon juice
  • ½ oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. heavy cream
  • 1 ¼ oz. simple syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • 5 drops of orange flower water
  • Soda water


METHOD: ‘Dry’ shake very hard

Add ice and shake again, very hard

Add soda water to shaker. Strain

GLASS: Footed Highball (no ice)

GARNISH: Lemon twist (discard)

 

Morning Glory Fizz

  • 2 oz. Scotch whisky
  • ¼ oz. Absinthe
  • ¾ oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • Soda water


METHOD: Dry shake/Shake remainder very hard

Add soda to shaker and strain

GLASS: Footed Highball

GARNISH: Absinthe spray

 

The Rose

  • 1.5 oz. gin
  • ½ oz. Combier rose liqueur 
  • ½ oz. Aperol 
  • ¾ oz. hibiscus/rose syrup
  • ¾ oz. lime juice
  • 1 egg white


METHOD: Dry shake all ingredients

Add ice and shake very hard

Strain into glass

GLASS: Coupe

GARNISH: 3 dried rose buds/spray with rosewater

 

Chamomile

  • 1 ¾ oz. Altos blanco (infused with chamomile flowers)
  • ¼ oz. yellow Chartreuse
  • ¾ oz. lemon juice
  • ½ oz. chamomile-infused honey
  • 1 egg white


METHOD: Dry shake all ingredients

Add ice and shake very hard

Strain into glass over 1 ice cube

GLASS: Large Coupe

GARNISH: Chamomile ‘mist’ and 3 floating chamomile flowers

 

Chocolate Coffee Flip


METHOD: Shake very hard with ice

Strain into frozen glass (no ice)

GLASS: Footed Highball

GARNISH: Grated nutmeg


@forkandshaker 

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