Cocktails go vegan at Bambudda thanks to new botanical egg white substitute.
Full article by Lindsay William-Ross for VanCity Buzz here.
“When it comes to finding a place at the bar, those who follow a vegan diet, or who have an egg allergy, have to be careful what they order. Classic drinks, like flips, fizzes, and sours, often rely on the egg white to serve as an integral part of the drink,” writes Lindsay, for VanCity Buzz.
While some chefs use aquafaba (aka water from a can of chickpeas), the taste and texture doesn’t work in cocktails, but, “Thanks to an ongoing relationship between Canadian food scientists and the bar talent behind the stick at a popular Vancouver restaurant, though, there’s a botanical, all-natural egg substitute for cocktail-making that’s about to hit the market.”
The family team of Sam and Philip Unger founded Ms. Betters Bitters. They’ve been working with bartenders Tarquin Melnyk (justcocktails.org) and Dylan Williams at Bambudda (Gastown, Vancouver), effectively using Bambudda as a test kitchen for some of the more experimental ideas that they were creating in their lab. Now, final designs are progressing to allow the product to have North American distribution. It’s already in use behind the bar at a few notable locations – namely Bambudda (Vancouver), Blackbird Bar (San Francisco) and Krafty Kitchen (Kelowna).
“The blend of three botanicals macerated in a neutral spirit is totally shelf-stable, and comes in a small bottle with a dropper, explains William-Ross. “Six drops are all it takes to organically mimic the texture and mouthfeel of the egg white in drinks”. Bonus: There is no pronounced nose to the vegan foamer in cocktails, avoiding “the ‘wet-dog’ smell that often comes off egg-white drinks,” relates Dylan Williams.
To finish, Lindsay notes that Tarquin creates a side-by-side visual and taste comparison of a classic Pisco Sour and one with the egg-free botanical foamer.
“To the untrained eye, there is just a faint difference in how the foam and the body of the cocktail appear; the substitute’s foam is just a fraction denser, and the botanicals bind differently with the drink’s ingredients to create a faintly darker colour.” surmises Lindsay.
How does it taste?
“It is virtually impossible to pick out which one is which. In fact, devout non-vegans (including myself) might surprise themselves by preferring the egg-less option; it’s got a creamy texture and the drink has a lovely clean finish.” Lindsay William-Ross.
Ms. Betters Bitters has embarked on an effort to add the vegan botanical foamer to a catalog of natural and organic cocktail ingredients that will also include high quality bitters, purées and syrups.
“The vegan egg white product should be ready for national distribution before the end of the year,” says Sam Unger. In the meantime, it is available as a egg-white substitute for all applicable drinks at Bambudda, Blackbird Bar SF and Krafty Kitchen.