One of my favourite cocktails is a sour made with pisco, whisky or mezcal, depending on the bar and my mood; it can also be made with a variety of other spirits, including gin, amaretto, brandy or rum. Usually, the spirit is paired with a similar quantity of fresh citrus juice (lime, lemon, grapefruit, etc), then shaken with sweetener and a raw egg white. The egg white creates a frothy top and gives the drink a thicker viscosity.
Aquafaba (or bean cooking water) makes a great egg white replacement in cocktails, as well as in meringues et al, because the carbohydrates and proteins from the beans create a very similar foamy emulsifying agent. Not only that, but, unless you’re also making a dish involving egg yolk, a cocktail made with egg white creates potential waste, which you can save simply by using aquafaba instead. It’s safer to store aquafaba, too, because it’s already been cooked, and keeps in the fridge for up to five days, or in the freezer for three to six months (freeze in 25ml portions in an ice-cube tray and defrost to room temperature before use). If you crack open a tin of pulses to get the aquafaba, the drained beans will keep in the fridge or freezer for similar lengths of time.
Aquafaba pisco sour
If I want to spoil guests with a nice drink, I’ll often make an aquafaba sour of some sort. It’s really versatile, easy and fun, and can be put together with a few common household ingredients. I don’t own a cocktail shaker, so instead I usually use a Kilner jar (or similar) with a clip-top. Instead of making sugar syrup out of water and cane sugar, I tend to use agave syrup, honey or maple syrup; oleo saccharum, which I recently featured here, is another delicious sweetener that will boost the flavour of your cocktail.
If you want to make your own simple syrup, however, gently simmer an equal quantity of water and sugar, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Leave to cool, decant into a bottle or jar, seal and keep in the fridge for up to a month.
100ml pisco (or your choice of spirit – eg, whisky, gin, amaretto)
30ml simple syrup, agave syrup or oleo saccharum
100ml lime juice (or your choice of citrus – eg, lemon, grapefruit, pomelo)
Angostura bitters, to taste (optional)
Pour the pisco into a cocktail shaker, add the syrup or or oleo saccharum, lime juice and aquafaba, and add a few ice cubes. Shake vigorously for 45 seconds, then strain into two chilled glasses. Top each with a few drops of Angostura bitters, if using, and serve.