The jury is still out on the best way to shake an egg-white drink, but when it comes to using egg whites to elevate a classic sour: no jury required.
A staple ingredient since the Golden Age of drink-making, egg whites have the unique ability to impart frothy texture—without contributing unwanted flavor—to a variety of cocktails, most often fizzes and sours. It is undoubtedly the latter category, however, that most often incorporates egg whites into an otherwise straightforward formula of spirit, citrus and sweetener. Add them to a classic whiskey sour, for example, for a more textured take on an otherwise dead-simple drink: the Boston Sour, a pre-Prohibition-era favorite that builds on bourbon, lemon, egg white and sweetener.
Another enduringly appealing (and especially easy) egg-white cocktail is the Clover Club—essentially a gin sour sweetened with raspberry syrup, and elevated to enduring glory by way of both egg white and, naturally, Julie Reiner. Not only is Reiner’s version of the drink a permanent fixture on the menu at her eponymous Brooklyn bar, Clover Club, it still rings in at just five ingredients.
From there, of course, it’s possible to expand on the gin sour formula in myriad ways. For an herbaceous, thoroughly modern take, consider the Green Park Cocktail, a fresh basil-tinged spring cocktail that subs in Old Tom gin for London dry. Other frothy drinks, meanwhile, build on bitters, like Nick Talarico‘s The Bitter Swagger, a decidedly of-the-moment riff on the Pisco Sour that incorporates amaro and Cocchi Americano. Similarly, in our own Campari Sour, we shake egg white alongside grapefruit and lime juices and, of course, Campari—because, well, obviously.