When I think about raw eggs, I think of salmonella, but for one of my buddies, cocktail recipes come to mind. Word on the street is that improved hygiene regulations and increased poultry vaccination efforts throughout the 2000’s have pacified public fear of the deadly bacteria, giving bartenders the green light to concoct creative cocktails using raw eggs. But you may still wonder, is it really safe to consumer a beverage with raw egg?
Bear with us while we get a little scientific – As most folks know, eggs are loaded with proteins (#yolked). What they don’t know is that when egg whites are shaken, the proteins realign and stretch out to create new links, changing color from clear to white and expanding in volume. Without added heat, it’s possible for bacteria to remain in the egg.
So based on our assessment, the bottom line is no, it isn’t 100% safe to consume a beverage containing raw egg. But for the adventurous, maybe only order an egg-cocktail at an establishment that clearly showcases a framed health inspection grade.
Before yucking my homie’s yum, I tried to understand why she risks her life drinking (potentially poisonous) egg cocktails with a little visit to my most loyal friend, Google. Egg whites are known to create a creamy froth when shaken, which can add elegance and texture to a cocktail. Behind the bar, some ‘tenders perform the “dry shake,” which is essentially just shaking a cocktail without ice to create the egg-y foam cap before giving it one final shake on ice to chill the drink. Okay, I see you 👀
Some from the opposing side knock the addition of eggs for being lazy. Take London bartender Alessandro Palazzi’s word for it: “The only difference is the longevity of the froth. If you know how to shake a cocktail properly and use the right ingredients, you can create the same effect.”
What Types of Drinks Include Eggs?
There are some certain types of cocktails that are known to (usually) include eggs. If you’re curious, or you’re trying to stay away, you can be on the lookout for drinks called fizzes, flips, sours, or anything that uses the dry shake (which I referenced earlier).
Whether you’re whipping up egg cocktails at home or bar-hopping around town, be sure to limit the consumption of drinks including raw eggs, especially if pregnant or elderly. Duh.