2.7 Fabulously Fruity Cocktails
Two sexy drinks and the tricks for using egg whites in cocktails
There are times in the week when everyone feels a bit fruity. A bit naughty. At these times, I grab my bottles of Ludlow Dry Gins, reach for some British liqueurs and shake. Or sometimes, I just pour it all out over ice. Fruity cocktails are not limited to sweet, sugary fluorescent coloured drinks. In fact, with the right ingredients and some know-how, you can create some truly fabulous fruity cocktails at home.
Here’s how to make two of the most divine and sumptuous fruit cocktails I know
In the mid-80s, Dick Bradsell of Fred’s Club, Soho challenged himself to make the most British cocktail possible. The iconic result was the rich and luxurious Bramble … made with French crème de mûre. If White Heron’s British Cassis had been around at the time, I have no doubt he would have used some. Put 1 part British Cassis in the bottom of a tumbler glass and fill with crushed ice. Pour 2 parts of gin and 1 part Triplecello over the ice, adding some sugar syrup if you like things a little bit sweeter. Top with more crushed ice and garnish with blackberries, a lemon twist and two straws.
A clean tote bag is perfect for crushing ice at home. Put two handfuls of ice into one corner and twist the rest of the bag tight. Use the end of a rolling pin to bash the ice. Crushed ice is important for the flavour of a Bramble. If drunk straight, or over rocks, this is a pretty punchy mix.
The Pink Lady
Dick makes a sexy drink, no doubt. But a Pink Lady is a truly sensuous sipper. She is a thing of real beauty. Especially the way I make her, all nice and frothy with a gorgeous pink blush.
Add 2 parts gin, 1 part White Heron British Framboise, 1 part lemon juice, 1 part sugar syrup and an egg white to your shaker. Now, without ice, shake for a good 20-30 seconds. This is called a ‘dry shake’. Then, add ice to your shaker and shake again for a further 15 seconds, before decanting into a martini or coupe glass through a sieve. Lay some rose petals or dried hibiscus flowers on top of her to garnish.
If you don’t eat eggs, you can substitute 1 part aquafaba for the egg white to get a similar effect. Equally, you can make a Pink Lady without egg white or aquafaba and enjoy a much more intensely flavoured drink.
Once you’ve fallen in love with the creamy, soft feel of a Pink Lady in your mouth, you’d be forgiven for wanting to add egg white to all your drinks. So, here’s a bit more information to make sure you get things right:
Firstly, when you are dry shaking a cocktail with egg white, you are mainly emulsifying the egg white with the other ingredients. When you then shake with ice (hard shake), you are aerating the drink, making it light and fluffy (like making meringues), as well as chilling and mixing it. The whole shaking process is known as a ‘double shake’ and is a sure-fire way to make your arms ache.
Secondly, behind the bar we ‘double-strain’ our egg white cocktails by using two different types of strainer (coarse and fine). Your 3-Piece Cobbler shaker already has one strainer built in, so you just need a sieve. Double straining collects any un-emulsified egg white and any egg shell that might have found its way into the shaker. Also, as with a Gimlet or Blond Martini, the sieve stops any small shards of ice from getting into the glass, which leaves you to enjoy the smooth, velvetiness of your egg white cocktail.
Finally, a small note on smell. Up close, you may find that egg white cocktails release a less than appetizing scent. This is easily combatted, with the added benefit of making your cocktails look amazing. The simple trick is to garnish with something with a gorgeously strong aroma. Flower petals work wonderfully and so do fresh herbs like mint, thyme, or rosemary. Concentrated bitters are also great. Drop three dots of Angostura Bitters on the surface of the egg white foam and run a cocktail-stick through the middle of them to create some beautiful little ‘latte-art’ hearts.