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Not every sour needs sugar to sweeten it up. The banana cognac sour is a delightfully soft, rich and fruity cocktail that is great for afternoon/evening drinks or dessert. Along with banana, you will get notes of grape, stone fruit, and oak, of course depending on what cognac (or other brandy) you use. There’s also a good way for vegans to get in on this drink without using egg white: keep reading!
Before we continue, a quick disclaimer: I got the inspiration for this drink from Food and Wine magazine, so I didn’t make up this recipe. They recommend using Giffard Banane du Brézil. It seems to be one of the most accessible banana liqueurs. However, I made my own liqueur by letting overproof rum, water, honey and banana chunks soak in a jar for a couple days. More on that later – let me know if you want the recipe!
To egg white or not to egg white?
If you’re already into sours you’ll know that adding a bit of egg white is a common practice. The frothy, smooth, rich texture helps ease into flavours of citrus and liquor in the drink. It’s also great for the art and presentation of the drink. Not every. For example, a cherry whiskey sour does great on its own. That drink benefits from a more syrupy, liquid consistency, and it’s just easy to sling back.
Of course, it’s reasonable to have some concerns about health consuming raw egg. Most egg whites are safe for human consumption today as long as the eggs are refrigerated and stored safely. However, salmonella is always a possibility, however slight. To combat this, one can pasteurize the eggs yourself to ensure any bacteria or molds present are removed.
For a vegan substitute that goes around this health issue, you’re in luck. You can use aquafaba for a similar effect. Aquafaba is chickpea fluid, which gets remarkably foamy and doesn’t carry much chickpea flavour. Here is a video of one of my favourite cocktail youtubers doing a side-by-side comparison. The aquafaba more than holds up against the egg white in both looks and consistency.
Reviews are mixed as some research suggests the substance is nutritionally poor. Though, you’re already ingesting alcohol and sugar, so perhaps health isn’t a primary concern. It’s one drink, just try not to make a habit of it and you will be fine!
Dry shake: The secret to success
So you’ve decided to use the egg white (or aquafaba) after all. Great choice! There is one detail of the process that will help you get the most out of it.
We are shaking the drink twice, first without ice. This process is called a “dry shake”. The name might be un-intuitive. There is still liquid in the shaker after all. My best guess is that because there is no ice, we are not diluting the drink with water. Hence, we’re not watering it down or getting it more “wet”. If you have a better theory, though, let me know.
Just make sure to hold the shaker tightly while you do this. It’s your baby. Because cold metal contracts, it makes the spaces between molecules smaller, and makes the tin air-tight. This process doesn’t occur when you don’t add ice, so you will not have a perfect seal. Use extra caution (and a bit of elbow grease) to make sure the shaker doesn’t come apart.
It’s not as scary as it sounds, and once you do it a couple times you will easily make beautiful, foamy egg white sours part of your cocktail repertoire. On that note, on to the recipe!
Banana Cognac Sour
- Cocktail shaker
- Hawthorne strainer
- Jiggers or measuring cups
- Coupe glass, pre-chilled
- 1 oz (30 ml) cognac another brandy is fine as a substitute
- 1 oz (30 ml) banana liqueur
- 3/4 oz (22.5 ml) lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1/2 oz (15 ml) egg white
- 1/4 oz (7.5 ml) honey syrup
- 1 brandied cherry to garnish
- Pre-chill your coupe glass in the freezer for 10 minutes (or fridge for longer).
- Place all liquid ingredients and egg white into a shaker tin without ice and close.
- Hold the shaker very tightly and shake for about 15 seconds. This allows the egg white to emulsify and become fluffy. Without ice, the shaker will not seal completely and may leak or come apart if you are not careful!
- Remove one of the tins, add ice, seal, and shake again for 10-15 seconds to chill the drinks.
- Prepare your serving glass. Unseal the shaker, place your strainer over one of the shaker cups and pour into your serving glass.
- Wait a minute before serving to allow the egg white to rise to the top of the glass. Garnish with a brandy-soaked cherry and enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by! If you like this kind of article, why not check out some of my other cocktail recipes as well?