There was a time in my life when if you told me I would be drinking a cocktail with raw egg white, I would have said you were crazy. I didn’t realize that when shaken in a cocktail shaker, egg whites get frothy and foamy like meringue and add a lovely creamy body to a drink that’s so much lighter than actual cream.
In fact, egg white drinks, like the classic Pisco Sour or Ramos Gin Fizz, are some of my favorite drinks. They often appear in bright, sour, citrusy drinks, which makes sense as a pairing if you’ve ever had lemon meringue pie.
In this drink, the main player is Aperol, an Italian amaro with notes of bitter orange, rhubarb, and loads of herbs. It’s similar to Campari, but it’s much milder on the bitter front and hence much easier to like.
If you’ve avoided amaros because you’ve found Campari to be too bracingly bitter, you might give Aperol a try. It’s about as sour and bitter as grapefruit juice with an underlying fruity sweetness.
Here it gets paired with lemon juice, an egg white, some simple syrup, and a splash of gin. It gets shaken with ice and strained into a chilled glass and garnished with a twist of grapefruit peel.
Egg white drinks often employ a technique known as a dry shake, that is, a shaking the ingredients without the ice first to add volume to the egg white and emulsify the ingredients before adding the ice and shaking again to chill and dilute the drink.
This drink skips the dry shake because it only needs a modest layer of froth at the top. It is important to shake it hard for at least a minute though to build enough body and foam in the drink.
It’s a lovely citrusy refreshing cocktail that would be a great alternative to the Mimosa for a brunch drink. It’s light and easy on the alcohol (and you could skip the gin if you wanted to make it even lower alcohol), and it would also make a great aperitif. It’s a pink and puckery cocktail that’s great to have in your arsenal.
Aperol Sour Cocktail
- 2 ounces Aperol
- 1/2 ounce gin
- 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 1 egg white
- Fill a shaker halfway with ice. Add the Aperol, gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white. Shake hard for at least a minute until chilled and lightly frothy. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and top with a twist of grapefruit peel. Serve immediately.