Using Egg Whites in Cocktails

Cotogna’s Aperol Fizz from Serious Eats

Egg whites add a lovely foam and velvety texture to cocktails. It’s like your cocktail is wearing a jaunty white cap! Eggs are a little tricky to use, but totally worth it. I love how a cocktail made with egg white is both light and creamy at the same time.

Here are few tips on how to do it, and then some delicious recipes to try!

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How to Flame an Orange Twist for Cocktails

A cocktail is just more fun when it involves (intentionally) setting something on fire. In this case, it’s an orange peel. Aside from the spectacle, the point of a flaming orange twist garnish is to impart some citrus oil and a little smoke to your drink. It’s wholly optional—an unflamed citrus twist will do the job, too—yet wholly entertaining.

This garnish is for drinks with aged dark spirits or a lot of bitterness. So it’s too intense for, say, a Martini or Mojito and definitely overkill for a PiƱa Colada. But enough no, here’s some yes. Try it with these drinks:

Watch the video from Bon Appetit to learn how to do it … and be safe!

How to Make a Spiral Lemon Cocktail Garnish

I have a confession to make: I’m not a good garnisher! I am very careful when it comes to making the cocktail. (Even though I’m good at free pouring, you will not see me make a drink without meticulous measuring.) But by the end, when it’s garnish time, I’m done being precise. So this tutorial on how to make a lemon spiral, isn’t just for y’all. It’s also for me!

If I’m not worried about making it pretty, I’ll just use a vegetable peeler to peel off a thin piece of lemon zest as a twist for a drink. It’s not fancy, but it does the job. Lemon oil gets added to the drink, even if it’s not elegant looking. But it’s actually not that hard to pizzazz it up a little with a spiral.

A lemon twist or spiral is many people’s Martini garnish of choice as well as a good accompaniment to a French 75 or Sidecar. You can use this technique with any citrus, say, orange for your Old Fashioned or grapefruit for your Salty Dog.

Watch this video with Jamie Boudreau from the Small Screen Network and you’ll see that a pretty citrus spiral just isn’t that hard to do:

For those who prefer a text and photo tutorial, check out this post on citrus garnishes.

How to Muddle

Many cocktails recipes instruct you to “muddle” ingredients. But what does that even mean?

A muddler is a wooden pestle that looks like a miniature baseball bat. The flat end is used to smash ingredients, such as the lime and mint in a Mojito. Wood is best, because it won’t damage glassware. Many muddlers have teeth on the end, which is great for fruits but a little on the aggressive side for those oh-so-delicate herbs. You can even go DIY and make your own muddler; it’s just a wooden dowel when it comes down to it.

Muddling releases the oils from herbs and the juice from fruits and vegetables. If you’re muddling herbs–say you’re making a Mint Julep-put the herbs at the bottom of a glass and press down gently with your muddler and twist rather than pound.

Over-muddling herbs releases the bitterness from the stems, and you want the flavored oil from the leaves. However, if you’re muddling fruit or a sugar cube, go to town on that bad boy and smash away.

So whip out that muddler and try one of these cocktails:

Watermelon Mojito
La Estrella
Mint Julep
Pink Frost
Embarcadero Dandy
Summer Solstice Smash

To learn more cocktail techniques, recipes and secrets, check out DIY Cocktails.

Photo by Jackson Stakeman