Let’s be really honest: there was a time in recent years when popping into a bar as a vegan was more depressing than fun. Nearly every cocktail on the menu boasted animal-based products. milk, eggs, creams. definitely vital for a decent cocktail, right? Wrong! Times are changing’, and here we’ll show you several hidden vegan bartending skills on the ninja level that’ll make you really happy the next time you venture into your favorite neighborhood bar.
Use Pineapple Gum Syrup
Put the egg whites away, there’s no need to use them. When you want to stealthily substitute a vegan option for something like egg whites, pineapple gum syrup is a great go-to option. Why? Shake it hard and aerate it a bit, and you’ll notice a nice, egg-white-like froth form. Include it instead of egg whites the next time you make a whiskey sour.
You don’t have to love beer to appreciate it as a vegan substitute, again for the egg-white. It’s the suds in the carbonation that make it a great choice, though most are pretty quick to pick up on the beer flavor, so the lighter the beer, the better the choice.
Use Coconut Cream
Coconuts are good for literally everything else in the world, why not use them in cocktails? The White Russian, Tiki cocktail, and Irish Coffee all benefit from this incredibly versatile fruit. If you’re feeling exotic, start with a whole coconut: simply chop it in half, scoop out the meat, and process it up until it forms a subtly sweet cream. Tending bar in a way that’s more about speed than making a statement? Canned coconut works really well, just make sure you have some that’s been chilled for over 48 hours since the meat and the milk separate really well after they’ve chilled longer than a day or two.
In case you weren’t aware, chickpea brine is a great choice for many vegan recipes because of its egg-like properties as an emulsifier. Though many say it works better as an egg-white substitute than any other option, it’s important to take note of the fact that it is a bit more finicky: it needs to whip up in a standing mixer for at least 10 minutes with vanilla, sugar, and cream of tartar to make it work well.
Ever heard of Agar agar? It’s a seaweed-based ingredient that’s commonly used as a thickening agent and works well to make gels and foams. Vegan bartenders use it all the time for clarifying juices and cloudy liquids, as well as creating gel cocktails (think: Jello shots)!
The next time you walk into a bar, look out for these options. Feel like tending bar on your own? Impress your friends by including these vegan ingredients to make the best cocktails ever.
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