Did you know egg whites are traditionally used in a classic whiskey sour cocktail? This potentially poses a challenge for someone with dietary restrictions. Aquafaba is a Vegan Egg White Alternative you can use instead when making your favorite adults-only beverages at home.
Aquafaba – A Vegan Egg White Alternative
Last fall a national whiskey brand hosted a tasting event in Scottsdale, Arizona that my husband and I attended. A local restaurant provided the venue along with seasonal menu items to pair with craft cocktails. You learn while relaxing with great food and drinks, making these types of events fun and informative. There was a whiskey sour that listed Aquafaba as one of its ingredients.
I chatted up the bartender in charge of that station because my interest was piqued. More and more bartenders around the country are using this Vegan Egg White Alternative in cocktails, he explained. After a little prodding, he told me that it is the liquid leftover from cooking chickpeas! The proteins lingering in the cooking water mimic the proteins in egg whites, making it the the perfect vegan substitute in a variety of recipes including my Rhubarb Whiskey Sour.
There are basic mixology rules when it comes to adding egg whites to cocktails. Their silky, almost creamy texture creates a mouthfeel you previously couldn’t get any other way. Classic cocktail enthusiasts have been safely using them in sours for centuries, but substituting Aquafaba eliminates any health concerns you might have about raw egg whites. I do not follow a vegan lifestyle, but a sensitivity to eggs makes this a great option for me.
You can get your hands on Aquafaba, which literally translates to ‘bean water’, two different ways. One way is to retain the liquid drained from canned chickpeas, while the other is to cook chickpeas yourself and reserve the cooking liquid. I have only used the canned version personally, since it is more time and user friendly. Making your own though only requires a few simple variables, mostly time and patience.
Vegan Egg White Alternative
My research turned up all kinds of great uses for this magical elixir besides cocktails though. You can subject the proteins to heat without changing their structure, creating delicacies like vegan meringues and macaroons. This Vegan Egg White Alternative has become so popular in recent years, it has its own website! The beauty of it being so new though is the sheer number of undiscovered ways you can use it. Get creative and share your ideas in the comments.
- 2 cups dried chickpeas
- 6-8 cups water, more if needed
- Sort through chickpeas, discard any damaged ones.
- Rinse and place in a large jar or bowl. Cover completely with water and soak overnight.
- Drain soaking liquid and discard.
- Add chickpeas to a saucepan, cover completely with fresh water.
- Bring water to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer.
- Cook chickpeas until tender, approximately 45-60 minutes. Add water as necessary to keep beans submerged.
- Strain beans from liquid, reserve beans for another recipe.
- If aquafaba is extremely thin, reduce slightly for a thicker consistency.
- Allow liquid to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Home Chef Tip: Other beans such as black or white navy beans can also be used instead of chickpeas.
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Disclosure: Message intended for our readers 21+ only. Please drink responsibly!