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Jun 17, 2010 10:19 AM

Can I do this terrible thing to beloved cocktail?

I love Ramos Gin fizzs my best friend I feel would love them too. However she scared of the rawegg white in the drink. Can I make it with out the egg white? Maybe with some egg white like substance like meringue powder?

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  1. raw eggs are perfectly safe. You can use pastuerized egg whites but they really don't work well. the process ruins their ability to form an emulsification. Other substances won't work the same either. I've been in the spirits and cocktail industry, as well as the food industry for years, and have never, ever, heard of a single health problem from a raw egg. Not one. Even the NY City Health Department backed down this past winter when one over zealous inspector tried to say that raw eggs shouldn't be used in cocktails. It was overturned within days.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JMF

      I've seen about 8 different versions of this drink. Can you guys recommend your favorite?

      1. re: JohnE O

        Ramos Gin Fizz
        1.5 oz gin
        .5 oz fresh lime juice
        .5 oz fresh lemon juice
        2 tbs cream
        1 egg white
        1 tbs sugar or simple syrup
        3-4 dashes orange blossom water
        1/4 oz soda water
        Shake all ingredients except soda water, without ice for 30 seconds to emulsify (called a dry shake). Add ice and shake hard for 1 minute. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and top with soda water, stir gently.

    2. You can, but you'll be missing out. The egg white gives it a wonderful silky texture that just can't be duplicated. You could theoretically use powdered egg whites (Orange Julius does), but I don't think it would be the same.

      I'm with JMF, just use the darn egg whites. I've been eating raw eggs in one form or another (usually cookie dough) since I was little and have never had a problem. As long as your friend isn't sickly or elderly, she should face her fears by having a Ramos Gin Fizz made properly.

      1. Adding to JMF's and JK's points is a reassuring factor, completely overlooked in journalistic reports I saw when raw eggs in cocktails got some publicity a couple years ago.

        A classic external germicide in medical texts is ethyl (grain) alcohol, and another (a potent food preservative in its own right, one of the strongest, when you can use it) is lemon juice. Both are in gin fiz recipes (in fact, they're in a number of popular cocktails using egg whites). I don't know of any explicit study of their effect on bacteria in egg whites but personally I view those ingredients as a protective factor.

        On top of which, egg whites themselves are normally sterile according to my reading. The problem, if any, would be on the eggshell surface, if contaminated by bacteria from a chicken's digestive tract (as sometimes happens in industrial chicken farming). Cracking the eggshell carefully (crack it gently with something narrow like a knife back, while holding it over a trash container, then separate the halves and carefully pour out the contents) should help avoid that problem even if it happens.

        2 Replies
        1. re: eatzalot

          USDA approved eggs must be washed, and sanitized.

          I did some research based on USDA research. It is estimated that one in 20,000 eggs may contain Salmonella Enteritidis (SE). A person who eats a raw egg EVERY DAY might encounter a contaminated egg once in 55 years.

          1. re: JMF

            -- And even the person who gets one contaminated egg in 55 years might well kill off the bacteria by using it in a cocktail containing two powerful natural disinfectants (alcohol and lemon juice). I'm surprised this point isn't mentioned more often.

            Incidentally, though less relevant to eggs, red wine is another strong disinfectant. While it has less alcohol than spirits, it contains other significant germicides. (I know that in Europe in earlier times, it was folk wisdom to add small amounts of wine to stored water as an ad-hoc purifier for suspected contamination. Current wine science supports that. )

        2. There's some kind of "foamy head" potion; a clear liquid that foams when shaken, available (next to stuff like Angostura bitters) at the liquor store.

          The reason I can't recall the brand name is because I've never been tempted to substitute chemicals for the raw egg white that makes a Ramos fizz so delightful, as well as a host of other cocktails, including a good whiskey sour...

          1. I am intrigued by this egg white in drink thing. I don't know anything about it. I don't drink alcohol (it seems I drank my lifetime's allotment as a fetus) and so I've never encountered it. Could you describe what it does to the drink? I am always trying to create complex non-alcoholic drinks that appeal to adults that don't have words like "Kool" in them. Maybe I could use egg whites. Is the alcohol key to the chemistry of it?

            2 Replies
            1. re: runwestierun

              Egg white adds body and mouthfeel to a drink, giving it a thicker, silkier texture. I see no reason why you couldn't add egg white to a non-alcoholic drink; as I mentioned earlier Orange Julius does so to make their drink more than just orange juice.

              1. re: runwestierun

                Interesting. Please start a new topic about adult mocktails. I'm most interested.

                Some of my favorites:
                Sanbitter, seltzer, lemon.
                Seltzer, many dashes Angostura (maybe 6), lemon
                Seltzer, lemon or grapefruit bitters.

                I'm always looking for something non-alcoholic for appropriate occasions.