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Egg Whites are out, Super Foam is in!

Half a dozen of eggs besides a bottle of Super Foam and a Whiskey Sour

Hello, Friends of Cocktails! Egg whites create a silky fresh sour cocktail with a creamy foam, but what if you’re vegan? Or what if you’re allergic to eggs… or just don’t like the smell of egg white? Well, today I’ll show you how eggs might become a thing of the past. If you’ve ever wondered about how to make a direct substitute for egg white, you’re in the right place. I’m calling this alternative the Super Foam, and we’ll make it two ways - regular and flavored, to test its limits.

We’ll also see how Super Foam plays out in two classic sour cocktails, one with whiskey and one with gin. At the end we’ll also talk about how you can prolong the shelf life of this foamer so stick around till the Bottom of The Glass, but let’s start with the inspiration for Super Foam. If you’re already a Friend of Cocktails you’ll remember I made Super Syrup a while ago, based on the Sour Syrup from Mike Capoferri of Thunderbolt Cocktail Bar. 

Mike used methylcellulose with his syrup, a thickener and emulsifier in various food and cosmetic products, and I also added xanthan gum and gum arabic to add a silkier texture. So what are we doing today? Listening to your request, of course! Many of you asked to make Syrup Syrup without it being a syrup, so you’re not tied to using the exact amount of sweetness that you need of the foaming agent. 

Another thing that was often asked with Super Syrup was the type of methyl cellulose to use. We found out that CMC or carboxy methylcellulose is not a suitable option, because it has a lower water retention rate. So go for pure, food grade methylcellulose, or Methocel F50 as Mike specified - which according to Modernist Pantry, is Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose or HPMC. With that we’re ready to make some Super Foam, it’s Cocktail Time!

Super Foam

● 500g Water

● 3g Methylcellulose

● 0.3g Xathan Gum

● 20g Gum Arabic

We’ll start by heating up 160g of water until it's gently simmering. Then I'll use my handy magnetic stirrer, to help dissolve the methylcellulose. This won’t fully dissolve and hydrate until we add cold water as well, but we need it to mix with the xanthan gum and gum arabic first, which will add to get the wonderful texture we’re looking for from our Super Foam. So let this mix for 5 minutes, then slowly add the remaining 340g of cold water into the spinning solution.

Continue mixing for another 5 minutes until everything hydrates completely. At that point, since we didn’t overagitate our solution, we’re basically ready to bottle our Super Foam. For this I’d recommend getting some condiment squeeze bottles, so that you can easily shake these up if the Super Foam separates a bit, which it will because of the gum arabic. 

You could make a methylcellulose solution without gum arabic as well to avoid separation, but adding it together with xanthan gum provides a silkier texture, similar to egg whites, which is why I use them. Another thing you can’t do with egg white is infuse flavor right into your foamer, which it’s now possible by just hydrating our methylcellulose with something other than just water.

Think of raspberry water, like we made it in the Club Clover episode for instant Clover Club cocktails, or a frothy tropical cocktail you could make if you swap water with pineapple tea, which we made in the Powdered Milk Punch post. But today we’re using lemongrass tea, so let’s make some to try out in two velvety cocktails with both of our Super Foams.

Lemongrass Super Foam

● 500g Lemongrass Tea

● 3g Methylcellulose

● 0.3g Xathan Gum

● 20g Gum Arabic

Here we’re starting with 600 grams of water and 6g of lemon grass tea in total, and same as before, 3g of methyl cellulose, 0.3g of xanthan gum, and 20g of gum arabic. We’ll make the tea to replace the water in the previous recipe, but we need part of that to be cold, so I’m first boiling 400g of water to which I’ll add 4g of lemongrass tea. Let this infuse for 5 minutes for the pleasant citrusy and lemon mint flavors to develop.

Then let’s strain out exactly the amount we need, 340g of the tea, which we’ll wait for it to cool down a bit before placing it in the fridge. Only once we have this part nice and cold are we moving on to the hot component, but this time using 200g of water and 2 grams of lemongrass tea - I know I could make one large pot of tea, but then I’d have to reheat this part once the first part cooled down, and some teas change a bit in flavor when you reheat them. 

After 5 minutes of steeping we strain the tea, this time exactly 160g, and from now on the process is basically the same as before, with the only difference being that our liquid component will give us a flavorful foamer that you can use for interesting twists on sour cocktails. Once everything is nicely mixed in and fully dissolved I’ll bottle it, add a label, to make sure I can tell them apart and that’s it, the Lemongrass Super Foam is ready.

Super Foam will last about a week in the fridge, and these recipes yield about 500mL, but if you’d like to make bigger or smaller batches you can find the Super Foam calculator under Foamers in the Cocktail Calculators section. If you make a large batch you can also freeze some of your Super Foam,  but another way to prolong the shelf life would be to add a preservative, but we’ll talk more about that when we reach the Bottom of The Glass, for now let’s make some cocktails.

Super Foam Whiskey Sour

● 60mL · 2oz Four Roses Bourbon

● 22.5mL · 0.75oz Lemon Super Juice

● 22.5mL · 0.75oz Simple Syrup

● 22.5mL · 0.75oz Super Foam

● 2 drops 20% Saline Solution

We’ll do a reverse dry shake, as I would do with the Super Syrup as well. So add your ingredients into your shaker, fill with ice, and give everything a really good shake. While the dry shake would mean shaking without ice first, the reverse dry shake means I’m shaking with ice first. So strain the cocktail back into the shaker and dump the ice, then shake hard again to maximize the amount of foam. Finally strain the cocktail into a chilled low tumbler glass over a large clear ice cube.

I’m garnishing this one with a maraschino cherry, because it will look beautiful on the thick foam, and with that we can now see how it compares to a regular Whiskey Sour, cheers! I think there’s not a lot new I can tell you about the flavor profile of the Whiskey Sour, but I can assure you the texture and mouthfeel is exactly what you’d expect with a classic Whiskey Sour if you’d use egg white. Can’t give it higher praise than that!

Let’s now move on to cocktail number two, the White Lemongrass Lady. The preparation is similar to before, but this twist on a Gin Daisy cocktail will use our Lemongrass Super Foam to elevate it.

White Lemongrass Lady

● 45mL · 1.5oz Beefeater Gin

● 22.5mL · 0.75oz Lemon Super Juice

● 22.5mL · 0.75oz Cointreau

● 22.5mL · 0.75oz Super Foam

● 7.5mL · 0.25oz Simple Syrup

● 2 drops 20% Saline Solution

This cocktail will be reversed dry shaked again, but the difference here is that the Super Foam will also add the lemongrass tea flavor without extra dilution, not just the frothy head and the texture. The presentation will be different, so once you dump the ice and shake again vigorously it’s time to strain it into a chilled coupe glass. For garnish I’m adding a lemon peel coin, and don’t forget to express the essential oils first. A beautiful lady, if you ask me, so let’s give this cocktail a try. Cheers!

The first thing I notice is that the foam isn’t that thick, and it’s dissipating faster than with the whiskey sour. I’m guessing this is a gin-related issue, but some pisco can act the same way. As for the cocktail, you’ll still get a velvety cocktail, full of citrusy goodness that is, in my opinion, even better than the original!


With that we’ve reached the Bottom of The Glass, where I’ll talk just a bit about sodium benzoate. Sodium benzoate is a preservative used in the food industry, including some sodas and packaged foods to prevent spoilage from harmful bacteria, yeast, and mold. But under certain specific conditions, including when combined with vitamin C, high temperatures or light, it can form a harmful chemical, benzene, so should it go on our dangerous ingredients list right? 

Not according to Darcy O’neil from Art of Drink, who did a whole video on this subject! There he compares the dangers and toxins of bacteria and mold versus realistic dangers from food preservatives - and luckily super juice has almost none of the vitamin C left, so we should be on the safe side too. If you’d like to avoid preservatives remember that the freezer is your friend, but stay safe either way. 

So, will egg whites become a thing of the past in cocktails? We’ll see, and I’ll see you next week, Friends of Cocktails!

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