Bartenders Defend Using Egg Whites in Cocktails

Egg whites have been an integral ingredient in cocktail recipes since the early 1800s, but recently, authorities have begun to crack down on the use of raw egg whites in cocktails.

In January, New York City’s Pegu Club was cited by health inspectors for serving their popular Earl Grey MarTEAni, which includes a raw egg white.  Though a warning is listed on the menu that consuming raw egg whites can be hazardous, the bartender was cited for not issuing a verbal warning to the customer before serving the drink.  The Pegu Club responded by yanking the cocktail from their menu, but many bartenders are continuing to serve and defend drinks containing raw egg whites.

In the below video, Todd Thrasher of Alexandria, Virginia’s PX Lounge contends that using fresh, locally sourced eggs in cocktails is harmless, and that the acid typically included in flips and fizzes kills any bacteria that might be present.


[Video via Reason Magazine]
Written by Kevin Gray


  1. Cocktail Shaker Boys · April 18, 2010

    We agree, egg whites have been an integral part of cocktail making for a long, long time. They should be allowed in cocktails – partly as a way of fighting this creeping sanitisation of life. Makes sense though for any professional bartender to make any prospective customers aware of the full ingredients. After that it’s their call.

  2. CookingwithColey · April 19, 2010

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever had a drink with an egg white in it. Are they found in any common cocktails or ones I might be familiar with? I’m no mixologist, so this seems very odd to me!

  3. Kevin · April 19, 2010

    Coley –

    Egg whites are found in hundreds of cocktails, but only at your better cocktail bars. Two of the more popular drinks containing egg whites are the Pisco Sour and Ramos Gin Fizz. Since you’re in Boston, Drink will be able to whip you up a tasty drink with egg white in it. Booze and lean protein makes for a healthy beverage.

  4. Bill Connelly · May 6, 2010

    Damn facists! I can’t believe they would warn people for using egg whites. Soon rare steaks and sushi will be illegal. It’ll be like prohibition all over again… lets head down to the speak-easy for a real whisky sour.

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