Using Raw Eggs for Cocktails

Cocktails that require raw eggs are most popular during Easter and the holiday season. There are definitely a lot of dangers associated with raw eggs, but that doesn't mean you have to ban them from your diet forever. People eat them every day and live to tell about it.

But there are some guidelines you should follow. I first read about them on Christmas Eve after serving my entire family the best chocolate mousse I'd ever made only to disappear into the furthest bathroom for 20 minutes with my Joy of Cooking cookbook, panicked that I'd poisoned everyone. They were all still alive when I came back downstairs, and the dessert ramekins were licked clean.

This is what you should consider before cracking one into a cocktail:

1. Is it fresh? It should basically be the newest carton of eggs that the market has to offer. And while you're inspecting the date on the carton, do what you usually do and check for cracks and foreign substances on the egg shells.

2. Joy of Cooking suggests that you only buy eggs from a "refrigerated case" instead of a "room-temperature display." The eggs I usually purchase to cook are from one of those doorless, refrigerated shelves. The eggs I'm going to use raw must be behind a glass door. But that's just me, and it's also an inconvenience. Not all stores keep their eggs this way.

3. A few other things I learned from my cooking bible: toss eggs with runny whites, eggs that float, and eggs that smell like anything at all (unless you think eggs smell like something in the first place, which I do not).

4. Trust your instincts. If you feel like the egg is no good, even if it passes all your other tests, toss it and make the egg drink another time. Your eggless cocktail will still taste just as good!

Easter Fizz Cocktail

Finalist for Saveur Magazine!