Hey, so I own a lot of cookbooks. It’s not a problem, more of an unfortunate distraction. One week I’m making pasta by hand and the next I’m headed to the Asian Market to make Japanese washoku. Cook of all, master of none. So yeah, maybe there’s an issue there. But you know, for what I do maybe that makes sense.
There has, however, been one constant lately. I’m trying to learn this whole craft cocktail thing. I mean, I can make a good Gin & Tonic. I can even make a great cucumber-infused G&T. But, I always stagger out from my favorite cocktail bars uncertain of half the ingredients I just ingested. Rhum Agricole Blanc, Bénédictine, and Avuá Amburana Cachaça sound more like religious rights than liquor.
Eggs whites are another of those cocktail ingredients that operate out of my comfort zone. I’ve quizzically watched bartenders shake albumen into drinks until they frothed and awkwardly starred at the guests who slurp them down. After finally breaking down, I asked a bartender why egg whites. He explained they give drinks a silky body and balance tart or otherwise overpowering drinks. Since he also made a damn fine Manhattan, I decided to trust him, and now here we are all. Plus, a drink with a white foam top looks like it’s straight out of the 1920’s and that’s got some serious Great Gatsby class right there.
For this particular recipe, I got a little help from Powell & Mahoney’s Blackberry Basil cocktail mixer made with Thai Basil. I love Thai Basil for its slightly spicy anise flavor, and when mixed with an egg white, it creates this almost elegantly muted cocktail with soft blackberry and basil undertones. I’ll make a bartender of me yet.
I get it. An egg white isn’t your typical cocktail ingredient, and you may be tempted to leave it out. So, why use egg whites? Texture. Just like the foam in your morning latté, egg whites feel rich and silky on the tongue. Drinks take on an almost creamy quality perfect to temper tart cocktails.
Mixing a cocktail with egg whites is relatively straightforward. You shake the hell out of it.
Start with a “dry shake.” Add all of the ingredients to your shaker without ice. Shake hard for at least one minute to emulsify the ingredients. Next, add ice and shake again to chill and dilute the drink. Finally, strain through a Hawthorn strainer (a conical fine-mesh sieve) to remove any tiny particles of egg.
How to Make A Black Thai Affair Cocktail
This post was created in partnership with Powell & Mahoney. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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A Black Thai Affair
- 2 oz Tanqueray London Dry gin
- 1 oz Powell & Mahoney Blackberry Basil
- 3/4 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup, recipe below
- 1 egg white
Dry shake all the ingredients, then shake again with ice. Double strain into a coupe. No garnish.
- 1 cup [196 g] granulated sugar
- 1 cup [8 oz] water
In a saucepan, combine equal parts of granulated sugar and warm water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and without bringing to a boil, until the sugar is dissolved.