Posts Tagged ‘egg_white’

Divide and Concord

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Apples and pumpkins get a lot of the cocktail attention in autumn, but the drink below is a worthy way to buck those trends and go grape.

Grape jelly is one of the most delicious memories of childhood and produces hands-down the best  PB & J. That flavor of Concord grapes is the one we most associate with grape-ness.  But it’s time that grapes get off our sandwiches, and make the jump from our juice – or wine – glasses to our cocktails.

One great cross between grape and cocktail is the Divide and Concord, featured in the September/October issue of Imbibe Magazine and credited to Tona Palomino at Trenchermen in Chicago. Combining grape juice, gin, absinthe and egg white, it is fruity and creamy without being cloying.

  

Divide and Concord

1 oz Concord grape juice (fresh pressed or store-bought bottled)
1 ½ oz gin
¼ oz absinthe
¾ oz simple syrup
½ oz lime juice
½ oz egg white
¼ oz heavy cream

Combine all ingredients and shake without ice. Add ice and shake again. Double-strain into a chilled glass. For more details about using egg whites in cocktails, see my previous egg white post.

Note: I omitted the cream because I didn’t have any on hand, but didn’t feel like anything was missing.

 

One obstacle to eating Concord grapes is those annoying seeds, but growers have solved that problem with the introduction of the Thomcord, a cross between seedless Thompson table grapes and the Concord. You can even use store-bought Concord grape juice  (I tried it with great results) if the produce is unavailable: Look for brands with no added sugars. There’s nothing holding you back from this drink!

Cheers, ICE

 

PS: Do you know, photos are a big reason I don’t post much? They aren’t my strength in the first place, plus I often forget/circumstances don’t allow me to take a photo of a great drink and then I never end up posting about it because I lack a picture. So I’m breaking with “blog protocol.” Maybe I will post more, and then you will just have my ramblings and great drink recipes unpunctuated by mediocre pics. That doesn’t sound too bad, does it? 

 

Eggs: To Drink, Not to Dye

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Some post-Easter fun with those leftover eggs:

Want to amuse yourself when friends come over? Ask them if they want a cocktail and see their faces light up. Then ask how they feel about egg whites in their drink and watch them shudder.

It’s too bad, because a properly made cocktail with egg whites – traditionally called a Flip – is divine. It is frothy, foamy and light, NOT slimy or thick. And the perfect choice when I’ve done a kick-ass barre3 workout and later need some extra protein (this is my excuse to go from barre to bar).   

Pink Lady, a classic cocktail with egg whites

 I have to admit the process can be messy. Separating the egg white from the yolk isn’t too difficult, but I find the current accepted shaking technique to be drippy and annoying. Also, some people are wary of salmonella*, although I also don’t avoid cookie dough or a Caesar salad for that reason. 

In the name of research I launched my Great Egg White Experiment to find the best products and approach. I tried pasteurized powdered eggs, pasteurized carton egg whites, chilled eggs and not, shaking with crushed ice, cubed ice and no ice. Yeah, I totaled a lot of cocktails!  And I found a great solution. Read on for the best method, plus recipes of course!

Challenging the Accepted Wisdom of The Double Shake

The double shake is considered the best way to emulsify a drink with egg whites. It calls for adding together the egg white and all ingredients and shaking well first with no ice, then adding ice and shaking well again. The problem is that opening the shaker to add the ice creates a drippy mess down the sides and an unacceptable loss of liquor! But it does create good froth…too much of it, actually. It ends up reminding me of a bad tap pour; I don’t want that much head on my beer or my cocktail.

What if we skip that first shake without ice. What happens? A sad, forlorn layer of foam is the result. Looking at it, you’d barely know it was a flip.  Drinking it, you’d miss the creamy texture.

In other attempts I did have slightly better results doing a solo shake with crushed ice instead of cubed. Maybe all the small pieces served to better whip the egg white. But while respectable, it still wasn’t the ideal amount of foam.  A chilled egg versus one kept at room temperature also didn’t make a difference.

Powdered vs Carton Egg Whites 

Eggbeaters vs. Powdered in a PC Fizz

 For those concerned about food-borne illness, using a pasteurized product is an option.  For a head-to-head competition I made the same drink using each.

I found the powdered egg whites in the baking section at the grocery store and followed the directions to reconstitute it by mixing 2 tablespoons of powder with 1 ounce of warm water. Then I mixed and mixed. Even using my tiny whisk it was difficult to get the clumps out and rather tedious.

For the competition I used Eggbeaters Egg Whites, managing to find a carton without added coloring, unlike the last time when the “yellow” egg whites turned my drink baby shit brown. Yuck.

Employing the double-shake technique (see above) for both, I deemed the Eggbeaters to be the clear winner. Not only was it easier with no extra mixing, it produced the perfect amount of foam. The powdered eggs, perhaps because of the pre-whisking, just produced too much foam.  Both drinks tasted and felt exactly the same while drinking.
 

The Solution

Sticking to fresh eggs because they are always on hand, I tried another approach. If this is recommended elsewhere, I haven’t seen it so I’ll consider it my “breakthrough.” But I will let you use it because I’m nice like that.

I was thinking about the additional foam created by the powdered egg whites and the pre-whisking involved, and I wondered:  Would whisking an egg white (fresh or carton) – just as I do before making scrambled eggs – then adding ingredients and ice for a single shake be a good substitute for that pre-ice shaking used in the double shake technique?  Why, yes it is! In fact, it created the perfect amount of foam for my PC Fizz with no extra mess or time. 
 

Voila, a perfect PC Fizz!

 Woo hoo, let’s celebrate with a couple of drinks I used during my mad science trials:

The PC Fizz – from the MixShakeStir cocktail book

1 ½ oz Pimm’s No. 1
½ oz chartreuse (either yellow or green)
1 oz simple syrup
¾ oz lemon juice
¾ oz lime juice
1 egg white
pinch of pumpkin pie spice to garnish

 Add egg white to shaker and whisk (use a fork or small whisk) until foamy. Add all ingredients (except pie spice) and ice, and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass, garnish with a pinch of pumpkin pie spice on top of the foam and enjoy. Note:  I like this drink with either green chartreuse for a brighter drink or the yellow for a mellower version.

The next drink is a classic. Pink and tasty:

The Pink Lady

1 ½ oz gin
½ oz applejack
¾ oz lemon juice
¼ oz grenadine
1 egg white

 Add egg white to shaker and whisk (use a fork or small whisk) until foamy. Add all ingredients and ice, and shake well. Strain into a wine glass.

So now you have no excuses. Pasteurized carton egg whites are as tasty in drinks as fresh. Whisking the egg white is less messy than alternatives. Using egg whites provides texture and elegance to cocktails. It’s time to mug a chicken.

 Cheers, ICE

*what, actually, is the risk of salmonella poisoning from an egg white? Very small according to Lawrence Pong, principal health inspector and manager of food-borne illness outbreak investigations for the Department of Public Health in San Francisco: “Egg whites are alkaline in nature, and salmonella colonies cannot survive there.”  Plus it seems that the alcohol present in cocktail would also inhibit bacteria.

 

 

 

No Flash Mardi Gras Drinks

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Time, it does slip by. But what better point to get back to bloggin’ than Mardi Gras?!? And since New Orleans is the mother of all Mardi Gras celebrations, it was natural to try a couple of the city’s classics – the Sazerac and the Ramos Gin Fizz.

The Ramos Gin Fizz earns some beads

The Sazerac is a classic cocktail with some controversy. People, there are very precise methods and measurements to making this drink – many of them. A blogger/cocktail-author brawl could easily break out over the Sazerac’s “musts” and tweaks. In the end, I went with the following from The Gumbo Pages, a blog that purports, “in Louisiana … alcohol, butter, cream and big piles of fried seafood are still good for you.”

Sazerac

1/2 teaspoon absinthe, or Herbsaint
1 teaspoon of simple syrup (or 1 sugar cube)
4 dashes Peychaud’s bitters (essential)
1 small dash of Angostura bitters (extremely optional)
2 oz rye whiskey
Strip of lemon peel

For full instructions and some history, visit the site; it’s complicated. Here is my approach: Rinse (coat by running the absinthe around the inside of the glass) one cocktail glass with the absinthe and discard the remaining liquid. In a mixing glass, add the remaining ingredients and stir with ice until chilled. Strain mixture into the absinthe-rinsed glass, twist the lemon peel and serve.

On the whole, this drink didn’t work for me…too much like sipping whiskey neat for my taste. I did enjoy the Peychaud’s bitters (found at some area liquor stores), though.

Round Two

Ah, the Ramos Gin Fizz. I have tried many a tasty variation of this drink, but never the original. While the Sazerac is the Official Cocktail of New Orleans (and, hello, Kirkland City Council, what is our official cocktail?) the Ramos Gin Fizz is one of New Orlean’s most famous drinks. I used the version offered by Imbibe Magazine, but did appreciate The Gumbo Pages’ warning about the orange flower water:

“Be EXTREMELY careful when adding orange flower water to this drink! It can very easily overwhelm, making the drink taste like perfume. You want a light, flowery touch, so no more than 3 or 4 drops.”

So true. If you are picking up a bottle of orange flower water (I found mine at QFC near cocktail mixers on the top shelf) – and you should so you can make the best grenadine ever – get an eyedropper while you’re at it. There is nothing precise about the pour from this bottle.

Ramos Gin Fizz

1½ oz gin
½ oz simple syrup
½ oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz fresh lime juice
1 fresh egg white
1 oz heavy cream (I had only half-and-half on hand)
3 drops orange flower water
1 oz club soda

+ 2 drops of vanilla extract (a variation)

Combine all ingredients except the club soda in a shaker with crushed ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled old fashioned glass. Add club soda and stir gently.

I didn’t have that dropper and poured too much orange flower water, but a late add of the vanilla extract helped temper the flowery taste. The Ramos Gin Fizz gets my Mardi Gras endorsement, no flashing required.

By the way, if you google “Cajun cocktail recipes,” you get far more hits for cocktail wieners than drinks. Interesting.

Cheers, ICE

PS, next week is St. Patrick’s Day and I suddenly have a craving for a McD’s Shamrock Shake. Or another green drink…