This post is made in partnership with Hangar 1. Recipes and ideas are my own.
This past week I reached out to Instagram to ask about egg whites in cocktails. I feel like years ago, when the cocktail movement really started to pick up steam, people sure were hesitant to drink a cocktail made with raw egg whites!! But now it seems everyone has chilled out about it and the general consensus, if you consume animal products, is that we’re all cool with egg whites now. Which is great, because today’s cocktail has one (but it’s optional in case you’re still a hard pass on them. It’s cool. You do you.).
One of my favorite styles of cocktails to add an egg white to are sours. Sours can be quite tart depending on how they’re made, and even when adding in a sweetener, the egg white somehow magically transforms the whole drink into a silky, well-balanced drink.
Now, we’re in the best part of the fall season, says me. And it’s in full swing here in California, where everything is in flux during this crazy transitional season. We still have tomatoes growing in gardens, but there are apple orchards just a little over an hour away bursting with fruit. And pears are at their juiciest when I visit my local farmers markets. It all makes me want to wrap myself up in countless flannels… except.. it’s still in the 80’s in SoCal. But, that also means we can still throw an early evening cocktail get together outside where the mild evenings are still pretty inviting, and, if it’s not a red flag day, you can turn on a fire pit.
This cocktail, made in partnership with Hangar 1 Honeycomb Vodka, which has now just become available for the first time ever outside of the Hangar 1 Distillery, located in Alameda, CA, is California fall in a glass. Juicy, ripe pears contrast with the woodsy sweetness of maple syrup and mingle with all those wonderful fall-time baking spices found in allspice liqueur, while a tart kiss of lemon juice accentuates the base of the whole drink with the complex honeycomb vodka. And that egg white gives the whole drink some body and a slightly frothy head that you can garnish with either a lemon wheel, or these really interesting honey discs I’ve been experimenting with. The honey discs are similar in structure to a hard candy, and not only do they really impress sitting in a cloud of froth on top of your drink, they also slowly melt into the drink to add even more honey flavor to the cocktail as you sip. These however are totally optional to the drink and the touch of sweetness they impart is minimal because they are so solid and melt very slowly. I just always have to go and make my drinks extra. But you don’t have to for this to work!
Pears can be so sweet when ripe, that the richness of honey is a fantastic contrast. They balance really well here and that’s because Hangar 1 isn’t just infusing the vodka with honey, they actually use honeycomb for a more intense flavor. What I love about Hangar 1, a California company, is that their honey isn’t sourced from some faraway place or imported, their honey is from their local farming community, Golden Harvest Bees, located in Redwood City, CA. When companies step up to being more mindful about sourcing ingredients and sustainability I pay attention.
You might be thinking, honeycomb vodka, that means it’s… sweet? For sweet drinks? But no! This vodka is really versatile and lends itself to both sweet and savory flavors. So, I hope the thought of ripe pears and rich honeycomb has you rushing to your home bar to mix up a couple and share with friends. To help with that, our recipe today is for two cocktails. Cheers!
Spiced Honey Pear Sours
makes 2 cocktails
3 ounces Hangar 1 Honeycomb Vodka
1/2 juicy ripe pear, cubed
1-1/4 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 ounce allspice liqueur
3/4 ounce grade b maple syrup
1 egg white, optional
Optional Garnish: Lemon wheel or Honey Disc (recipe follows)
In a cocktail shaker, pour in Hangar 1 Honeycomb Vodka and pears. Muddle pears just enough to break up the chunks. Then add in the lemon juice, allspice liqueur, maple syrup, and egg white if using. Dry shake (with no ice) for 15 – 20 seconds. Add in ice and shake additional 20 seconds. Depending on the size of the holes in your shaker you may have to either strain through the shaker top, or open that up and strain through a small mesh strainer due to the pears, onto a fresh ice cube in a double rocks glass.
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
In a small saucepan over medium high heat, combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice. Stir gently to dissolve the sugar and bring mixture to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, lower heat to medium-low and add in honey (I find a quick 15 second in the microwave makes it easier to pour). Cook without disturbing the mixture until it reaches the hard crack stage (295-310°F, and a candy thermometer comes in handy here). Then pour into disc molds, or free pour onto a silicone mat. Allow to harden at least 30 minutes, then remove from molds and store in an airtight container.
Learn more about Hangar 1 and their selection of craft vodka expressions here: https://hangarone.com/vodkas/