The Dry Shake is known to bartenders and home enthusiasts alike, it’s the defacto standard way of shaking a cocktail that contains egg whites. If you didn’t know this, you now have an opportunity to learn and that’s always fantastic.
Why Dry Shaking
You want to emulsify the cocktail, to integrate the silky smooth texture of egg white into the drink while bringing out a great white foam. The frothy nature of the egg white is diminished if you begin by shaking all the ingredients with ice because the foam never has a proper chance to form and the integration of the egg white is interrupted. Of course, some folks have moved over to the “reverse dry shake” which chills the drink first, by adding ice, then remove the ice and give it another 30 seconds or more of shaking without the ice; same effect, but some say it works even better.
In either case, the 2-phase approach to shaking allows for the smooth mouth feel of the egg white cocktail as well as a rising foam that sits on top of your drink for a long period of time (usually longer than you’ll have the drink).
The Clover Club Foam
This everlasting foam on our clover club is due to the nature of the proteins holding the bubbles in place with a strong structure. That protein binding agent, direct out of your egg white, is what keeps the bubbles from popping near instantly and continue to cling to the glass well after the drink if finished.
In most ways, the Clover Club is your standard sour: 1.5 oz London Dry Gin, 1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice, 1/2 oz Raspberry Syrup, and 1/2 an egg white. It contains the proper balance of sweet and sour, however that egg white also gives it a slightly dry finish and a nice smooth texture. We use Liber & Co Gum Raspberry Gum Syrup, which has gum arabic and helps to smooth the drink out even further.
Are Egg Whites Safe?
For the most safe experience, do not use fresh farm stand eggs, you’ll want to use pasteurized eggs as the process is designed to kill salmonella. You still want to be careful with the egg shell, and wash your hands after handling eggs, as a good general rule.
You can also try Aquafaba or the water from a can of chickpeas. These also have the protein binding agent, but we’ve found the foam isn’t as big and strong. The aquafaba also tends to leave a unique if not strange flavor profile in the drink where egg whites are mainly silent on flavor impression.
Give it a try, you may be surprised.