Leftover Milk? Make Whey for Cocktails.
Whether you have leftover whey from making cheese or need a new emulsifier to foam up your cocktails, this post is for you!
It’s especially for bartenders, baristas, and bars that need to use up the last of their milk before it goes bad.
Fresh milk has a low shelf life especially once opened. It also doesn’t have much use for cocktails besides the Ramos Fizz and other similar twists.
Whey on the other hand has a very long shelf life, with the ability to last for over 6 months without any changes in flavor or texture.
It also has better practices for cocktails as opposed to milk and is more approachable because of its lower fat content.
Adding whey to a cocktail is similar to adding egg white or aquafaba. It adds texture, binds the ingredients together, and gives your drink a nice head of foam.
It’s also colorless but will create a similar cloudy effect that egg white and aquafaba give.
There are a couple of pros whey has compared to the two other emulsifiers.
- The yield you get from it is huge! Way more than what fresh eggs and canned chickpeas have.
- When it comes to price points you will save way more money on using whey than using fresh eggs and chickpea water.
- The process is very easy. Cracking fresh eggs can be messy and making aquafaba takes time and effort.
- It’s not lactose-free (so make sure your guests know about that).
- it’s not vegan.
All you’ll need are the following ingredients and items.
- Apple Cider Vinegar (or another acidic ingredient like lemon juice)
- Fine Mesh Strainer
- Cheesecloth filter or cloth filter
A Note for Your Acidic Ingredient
You can use any acidic ingredient. Lime, Lemon, Apple Cider Vinegar. It really doesn’t matter that much because you’ll only be using a very small amount, and that small amount won’t impact the overall flavor too much.
Living in New York I’m choosing Apple Cider Vinegar just for the purpose of using something local rather than out-of-season citrus fruit, but you should use anything that is local and seasonal in your region.
Boil and Add Acid
Whey can be made by simply combining milk with your acidic ingredient at room temperature, but to speed up the process, it’s better to raise the temperature of your milk.
For every 250ml of warm Milk combine 30ml of Lemon Juice or 20ml of Apple Cider Vinegar.
Place your milk in a pot and heat it up. You’ll have to keep a close eye on this process or you can ruin your batch from overcooking.
Once you see your milk start to simmer get ready. As soon as you see the first bit of foam form on the top, turn off the heat, remove it from the stove, and add your acidic ingredient.
Give everything a quick mix with a spoon and let cool down at room temperature.
You’ll notice the curds start to form almost immediately.
Once everything is cooled off, you can set a container with a large chinois or fine mesh strainer, and a cheesecloth.
(Because I’m doing this at home, I’m using a clean rag from an old unused t-shirt of mine).
Pour everything through the two filters and, using your hands, gently squeeze the remaining liquid from the cloth filter.
The solids that you’ll have left can be eaten just like any regular cheese.
The liquid that remains is your whey.
Bottle it up and place it in a refrigerator. This stuff will last for a very long time!
How to Use
For whey to work well in cocktails, stick to twists on sours or other similar styles of cocktails.
The combination of sweeteners, acidic ingredients, and juices work very well when combined with whey.
Shaken and thrown drinks get the full benefits. Stirred do not.
When it comes to quantities, adding at least 1 ounce or 30ml is a good start.
I sometimes add 1½ ounces or 45ml to some drinks.
Keep in mind that your cocktails might not have a huge layer of foam on top like you would get from a whole egg white, but the most important qualities will be there (texture and consistency).
A classic gin fizz with some extra floral notes and citrus elements. This is one classic example to use whey in a cocktail.
- 45ml Camomile Infused London Dry Gin
- 20ml Lemon Sherbert
- 20ml Lemon Juice
- 30ml Whey
- Top with Soda Water
- Lemon Spray
You can also use it in: Whisky Sours, Amaretto Sour, Clover Club, Pisco Sour, White Lady, New York Sour, Rattlesnake, and more!