Techniques

How to Use Aquafaba (AKA Chickpea Brine) for Vegan "Egg White" Cocktails

A foamy cocktail is in front of a bottle of bitters and next to a barspoon.
This delightful vegan whiskey sour incorporates aquafaba, which is chickpea brine, to give the drink its signature foam. Photos by Elizabeth Rushe.

Whether you’re vegan, you’re allergic to eggs or you’re just a little off-put by the idea of egg in your cocktail, aquafaba is the new wonder ingredient making traditional sours and fizzes possible without using an egg white. French chef Joël Roessel made the revelation that chickpea liquid has the same properties as egg white — it’s an emulsifier and foaming agent. Aquafaba is the chickpea brine, the liquid remaining after cooking dried chickpeas, or the same liquid leftover in a can of chickpeas once the chickpeas are removed. Anyone who has ever opened and drained a can of chickpeas may worry about the smell and taste of aquafaba, but the smell evaporates, and the chickpea taste is neutralized during shaking and mixing.

Bartender Keith Corwin from Thelonious Bar in Berlin saw aquafaba popping up on food blogs all over the Internet and social media — people were raving about what the ingredient allows non-egg-eaters to do (you can make a mean meringue out of it, seriously). Knowing that this ingredient could be a fabulous solution for egg-dissenters at the bar, Corwin was inspired to create this aquafaba version of a whiskey sour.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 oz. simple syrup (1:1)
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 1 oz. Aquafaba (chickpea liquid)

A man is pouring aquafaba into a jigger. The ingredients for the vegan whisky sour are simple, and this how-to is a template which you can adapt for many cocktails, Corwin says: simply replacing egg whites with 1 oz. aquafaba. It changes the character of the cocktail slightly, adding a layer of complexity.

A man is pouring simple syrup into a jigger. Step 1: Add all of the ingredients to a large shaker.

Man pours Maker's Mark into a jigger. At Thelonious, the bourbon of choice is Maker’s Mark, but Corwin also recommends Bulleit and Buffalo Trace as good options.

Man is shaking cocktail contents in a metal shaker. Step 2: Dry-shake the mix first before adding ice (once ice is added the cold mix won’t foam up as well). Corwin recommends lining the shakers up very straight for the dry shake, to avoid leaks. Ice would normally create a vacuum while shaking, but without ice there’s no vacuum, so slanted shakers can cause a leak. “Shake the hell out of it for 10-12 seconds” Corwin says, for the aquafaba sour — compared to the recommended 6 second shake for egg whites.

Man is shaking cocktail contents in a metal shaker. Step 3: Add ice, and shake thoroughly a second time. “Now I do the real shaking,” Corwin says - about 10-15 seconds.

Man is performing a long pour from one half of a shaker to the other. Step 4: Get even more air into the foam by repeating a long pour: remove ice, strain mix from one half shaker to the other. Using the long pour, pour the vegan sour mix back and forth 2-3 times. Pour it as long as you can!

Man straining cocktail into a chilled glass. Steps 5 and 6: Strain the mix into a frosted glass of choice. Top with Angostura bitters.

A foamy cocktail topped with bitters is sitting on a bar.Result: Super foamy vegan whiskey sour. You’ll notice a more defined layer will settle in the whiskey sour if it’s left to sit — but no need to wait — drink up!

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