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Egg whites in sours

tinnywatty Jun 21, 2012 10:42 PM

Is there a reason why egg white is a traditional addition to a whiskey sour, but not to any of the other sours (Daiquiri, Margarita, etc)? I have had a variation on the daiquiri containing egg white, with dark rum, but that was because I asked the bartender for a drink containing both of those ingredients. I quite like the addition of the egg white to the whiskey sour, and I'm curious if there is a reason, tradition or otherwise, why eggs aren't generally added to other sours.

  1. yarm Jun 22, 2012 12:12 PM

    Perhaps the harshness of 19th century whiskey. Lots of barbooks from that era give plenty of recipes of how to adulterate spirits to make them seem like whiskey, brandy, and the like. The egg white does take the edge off of rough spots. It could have also been an old school fortifying trick such that you get your morning dose of alcohol along with a little breakfast of protein and vitamin C.

    I do know a good bar in Boston that serves two types of Margaritas. For the after Red Sox game crowd, the Margaritas are served in pint glasses with lots of ice and their house made sour mix is citrus, simple syrup, and some egg white. The other Margarita is the classic tequila, orange liqueur, lime one.

    I haven't seen the Daiquiri with egg white ever save for variations that are distant from rum, sugar, lime (often they are Fizzes).

    I do see them in some similar gin drinks. Besides Fizzes, they are in many White Lady (gin, orange liqueur, lemon) recipes.


    2 Replies
    1. re: yarm
      tinnywatty Jun 24, 2012 12:39 PM

      Now I see another link in the related threads about egg whites in Margaritas, interesting. The Daiquiri I had was actually an "egg white sour" (egg, lime and sugar) served accompanying a glass of dark rum, so I suppose it wasn't technically a Daiquiri although it definitely wasn't one of those heavily adulterated or otherwise altered recipes.
      I forgot about the gin drinks- of course, the pisco sour is also made with egg as well.
      I like the texture that egg white adds. Can the addition of egg ever be a bad thing- for example, covering up subtleties or character in the drink?

      1. re: tinnywatty
        EvergreenDan Jun 24, 2012 05:33 PM

        I find that acid + egg white = puckery astringent alum-like flavor. The drink needs enough sugar to balance the acid to prevent this. I sometimes omit the egg white when I'm enjoying the acidity of the drink.

        And, yes, egg smooths over flavors, which can be good or bad. There are lots of amaro ./ egg cocktails for this reason, I think.

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