Tonight's cocktail was an attempt to make what I call the Last Word, which is basically a Last Word cocktail with an egg white thrown in. I'd successfully made this one when I was living in Hamburg and really enjoyed the texture and richness the egg white brought to this lovely drink. Tonight, however, it didn't work. I failed to get decent emulsification of the egg white and thing just felt flat and listless.
I can think of a few reasons why it might not have worked:
- I could have failed to shake this one enough.
This is unlikely to be the reason; I really shook the heck of the cocktail. I think I gave it a good minute plus during the dry shake. I might resort to using a blender to really whip it up next time to see, though.
- The egg whites could be old.
Again, I think this is unlikely. I just used this carton of egg whites on Thursday to make a pretty acceptable Singani Sour, so I think they have as much fluff to them as ever. Also, they are no where near their expiration date. While pasteurized egg whites aren't as fluffy as fresh ones, they still have no problem doing the job.
- I didn't use enough egg white.
This might be the culprit. I only used about a half egg's worth of white in there, and that might just might not have been enough for the volume of the other liquid. I'm going to give this a try in a few days with a full egg white and see what happens.
In any case, it was a noble experiment and certain one I'm going to revisit. I think there's a lot of room out there to incorporate egg whites into classic sours, and I'm going to be giving that more and more of a try.
(with all thanks to Murray Stenson for reviving the Last Word)
- 3/4 oz Gin (I used Martin Miller's Westbourne Strength Gin)
- 3/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur
- 3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
- 3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
- 1 Egg White
- Combine the ingredients in a shaker without ice and shake the crap out of it for a minute or two. Seriously shake weight action here. Be careful! As the egg white emulsifies, the volume of the liquid expands and can force the shaker open, especially if you're using a Boston shaker. Also, without the ice in there, you don't get as firm of a seal (the ice chills and contracts the metal shaker, which helps make a tight seal.) I usually wrap a dish towel around the shaker at this stage to prevent any spills.
- Add ice and shake to chill, about 20 - 30 seconds
- Use a Hawthorne strainer and a fine-mesh strainer to strain the drink into a martini glass or cocktail coupe.
- Express a lime peel across the top and garnish with a Maraschino cherry.
- Admire the nice egg white float you earned through the strength of your arms. Sip and enjoy.