Unusual cocktail ingredients

You ever see something in a drink recipe that makes you think, “What da fug’s that doing in there?” I was poking through CocktailDB the other day and said just that very thing. A little background, though…

We had some egg whites left over after Jen made homemade pasta. Because the eggs were very fresh, I thought I’d use the whites for cocktails. So I searched CocktailDB for recipes with egg whites. I wanted to try something new, and not your usual gin fizz.

I came across a drink called the Fan Tan. Here’s the recipe on CocktailDB*:

Shake in iced cocktail shaker & strain

1 1/2 oz ginger flavored brandy
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 egg white
1 dash Tabasco sauce

Serve in a cocktail glass (4.5 oz)

The Tabasco, as you might imagine, caused my “da fug” moment. I googled around a bit and found another recipe on Mixology.com:


1 1/2 oz. Brandy – Ginger
1 dash Juice – Lemon
1 drop Tabasco
1/2 Egg – White


Shake with cracked ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.

I started thinking about this. The only gingered brandy on the market that I know of is Canton, and its flavor profile already carries a hint of hot spice from the ginger. Used judiciously, the Tabasco should, I thought, complement that. The trick was going to be balancing the drink so that the Tabasco didn’t overwhelm it.

Fan Tan

photo by Jennifer Hess

I added it sparingly, stirring and tasting after each drop, until I had the balance I wanted. And I have to say, it worked out just as I thought it would. Jen didn’t even taste the Tobasco until I told her it was there, and even then, she had to roll the drink around in her mouth a bit before she noticed its subtle influence.

*I’m aware that my blockquote formatting is screwed; this version of WP seems to parse the HTML/CSS differently than the previous release, for some reason.


3 thoughts on “Unusual cocktail ingredients

  1. Sounds cool!

    Though, I have to admit I am kind of partial to something like a chile tincture or Baker’s Hellfire Bitters in actual cocktails. The vinegar of tabasco can be kind of distracting.

    Is that contemporary glassware? Looks like a nice size for drinks.


  2. I have to admit, in any greater quantity, the Tabasco would have killed the drink.

    The glassware is, I think, 3-1/2 ounces. It was cheap, but we bought a couple of cases for parties. I’ll have to ask Jen where we got it.


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