If you haven’t, we’re about to take your cocktail game to the next level. Aquafaba is the liquid that canned chickpeas come in – you’re probably used to pouring it down the drain, but this mysterious, magical liquid actually makes a perfect vegan egg substitute. The thick liquid comes from soaking or cooking beans in water for an extended period of time.
French chef Joel Roessel is credited with discovering that chickpea brine has many of the same properties as an egg white – it’s an emulsifier and foaming agent. And as for the strange name? The latin words for bean and water, respectively, are faba and aqua. (We’re told other contenders were “bloop” and “l’egg.”)
You can use aquafaba in any recipe that calls for egg whites – whip them up and fold into pancake batter, dollop on top of lemon meringue pie or, most importantly, finish off a gin fizz. Once aquafaba is shaken, mixed or baked, any smell and taste evaporates, so you don’t have to worry about your cocktails smelling like garbanzo beans.
Aquafaba is a fantastic swap for cocktails traditionally made with egg whites – classic drinks like the pisco sour, whiskey sour and Tom & Jerry, to name a few. Unlike egg whites, you can pre-flavor aquafaba, and bartenders prefer the texture and smell. Since it’s vegan, you don’t have to worry about dietary restrictions, and there’s none of the risk of foodborne illness that comes from raw eggs. Not to mention that we’re all about repurposing ingredients that would normally be thrown out…hello, no waste movement!
If you’re ready to start whipping up cocktails, the rule of thumb is that one tablespoon of aquafaba is equal to one yolk; two tablespoons is one white; and three tablespoons is a whole egg. There’s typically quite a bit of liquid in one can of beans – if you’re not whipping up pisco sours for a crowd, freeze the aquafaba into 1-ounce portions, and microwave for 25 seconds when you’re ready to start mixing. Show off your mastery of aquafaba mixology with this vegan version of a classic whiskey sour.