Little Miss Muffet's penchant for dairy products aside, cheese's liquid by-product, whey, is currently getting mixed and shaken instead of tossed, as D.C. bartenders are loving the texture whey adds to drinks (and depending on the cheese, a touch of sweet or sour to boot.) "Whey is an emulsifying agent in a cocktail," explains ThinkFoodGroup cocktail innovator Juan Coronado. "If you substitute white eggs with whey you get froth and texture without the overwhelming egg aroma." Here is where to get your dairy fix around town:
· Bourbon Steak currently has the White Dog ($17) on the drinks menu, with vodka, grapefruit juice, lemon, sugar and whey. "The whey smooths out the acids in the White Dog, and adds a richer texture to the cocktail," according to mixologist Duane Sylvestre.
· I Became A Shaman ($13) at Restaurant Eve mixes Pisco, quinoa and whey. Bartender (and Pisco ambassador) Todd Thrasher recently returned from a trip to Peru, where his group was blessed by a Shaman. The drink is a take on the traditional dessert Arroz Con Leche; Thrasher replaced with rice with quinoa, as it's indigenous to Peru, and used whey to get the flavor of milk with a lighter texture.
· Formerly Southern ($42/bottle) at Range mixes Boyd & Blair Vodka, fresh lemon juice, Earl Grey tea and whey. "Whey changes the texture of the drink to have a silkier mouth feel and more weight," says bar manager Owen Thomson.
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