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How to Dry Shake a Cocktail for the Best Egg Foam

Have you ever wondered how bartenders get that amazing egg foam on classic cocktails? To get it at home, you just need to learn how to dry shake a cocktail. It’s easy!

Dry shaken French Martini with egg foam on top

You can shake a cocktail with egg whites the way you usually shake cocktails, but it takes longer and isn’t as reliable for getting a thick, silky foam on top.

Dry shaking involves shaking a cocktail without any ice, and then again with ice. It may sound counterintuitive, but it always gives you that creamy, frothy texture for your drink.

Introduction to Dry Shaking

This bartending technique is popular with mixologists because it creates a velvety texture and beautiful egg foam on top. It’s used for drink recipes that call for egg whites, like the famous Whiskey Sour or Ramos Gin Fizz.

The Benefits of Dry Shaking

Why bother dry shaking when regular shaking will eventually break up the egg white?

Better Texture: Dry shaking completely emulsifies the ingredients, which gives drinks a thicker and more distinct foam on top.

Presentation: The solid foam head you get with dry shaking looks more elegant than the frothy look of a cocktail shaken the usual way.

Taste: It helps incorporate flavors more effectively, which gives you a harmonious blend of ingredients in every sip.

Mouthfeel: It gives you smooth and velvety mouthfeel that enhances the overall drinking experience.

Step-by-Step Guide to Dry Shaking

Remember, not all cocktails are suitable for dry shaking. This is for drinks that contain ingredients like egg whites or other emulsifying agents like cream or dairy alternatives.

Step 1: Measure and Combine Ingredients

In a shaker tin, measure and combine all the ingredients as specified in the recipe. Make sure to include the cocktail base, sweeteners, bitters, and any other flavorings. Do not add ice.

Step 2: Dry Shake

Instead of adding ice to the shaker tin, close it tightly and shake vigorously for about 10-15 seconds. This step helps emulsify the ingredients, incorporating air into the mixture.

Step 3: Add Ice and Shake Again

Carefully open the shaker tin and add ice cubes or crushed ice. Close it tightly again and shake for an additional 10-15 seconds. This step chills the cocktail while maintaining the frothy texture achieved through dry shaking.

Step 4: Double Strain

To remove any small ice shards or other solids from the mixture, use a fine-mesh strainer when pouring the cocktail into a glass. This ensures a smooth and visually appealing presentation.

Dry Shaken Cocktail Recipes

These are a few of the best egg white cocktails you can make with this method.

Tips and Tricks

Chill Your Ingredients: For best results, make sure your ingredients are chilled before dry shaking. This helps create a more stable foam and enhances the overall texture.

Proper Technique: When dry shaking, hold the shaker tin firmly with both hands to prevent leakage or spills.

Gradual Cooling: If you prefer your cocktail extra cold, you can add ice cubes after dry shaking and shake briefly once more before double straining.

Experiment with Garnishes: There’s nothing prettier than a garnish floating on top of egg foam. Get creative with garnishes like citrus twists, herbs, edible flowers or even grated spices to elevate the visual appeal of your dry shaken cocktails.