Every fall, two inevitable things happen: I start craving apple-flavored everything, and my hair becomes a dried-out wreck. And so I submit to you this second installment of Beauty & the Buzz, which seeks to cure both ailments at once, all thanks to that little self-contained miracle: the incredible, edible egg.
If you’ve never put egg in your hair or your drink, never fear: neither is as scary as it sounds! Many folks are initially wary to put a raw egg white in a cocktail, but it’s actually an age-old practice (see: the Ramos Gin Fizz, circa 1880), and the bacterial risks are extremely low, especially if you’re using fresh, clean, cold-stored eggs. (If you’re concerned, you can read more about using eggs in cocktails here and here.)
Plus, the reward is irreplaceable. The egg white doesn’t flavor the drink, but lends it a silky-smooth, frothy texture that is, quite simply, freaking amazing. It’s like sipping a foamy concoction from your favorite coffee shop—except the flavor profile can be whatever your heart desires… and there’s alcohol in it! The key is just to know how and when to incorporate the egg white—which we’ll cover below.
So that’s what we’re doing with the white… but what about the yolk? Rather than cooking up a sad, lonely yolk (or even worse, throwing it away), we’ll be using it as part of a simple two-part protein hair mask, designed to treat winter’s worst hair woes: dryness and brittleness.
First, the cocktail, which I’m calling the Harvest Fizz. You will need:
- 2 oz rye whiskey (I used Bulleit Rye)
- ¾ oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ¾ oz brown sugar apple simple syrup (see recipe below)
- 1 egg white
- A dash of the bitters of your choice (I used Dutch’s Spirits Prohi-Bitters, but classic Angostura works dandy)
… But wait! First, we’ve gotta make the brown sugar apple simple syrup. It’s easy and delicious. Here’s what you do:
Brown Sugar Apple Simple Syrup
- 1 cup (or so) apple peels & cores (about 2 apples, but 1 works in a pinch)
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 cups water
In a saucepan, combine the peels and cores of two apples with 2 cups water and 2 cups of light brown sugar. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved (about 1 minute). Reduce the heat to low, and let simmer for about 20 minutes to let the apple flavor infuse. Remove from heat and let cool completely, then strain and transfer to a container and store in the fridge for up to a month.
(Note: This recipe makes about 2 1/3 cups simple syrup, which is a lot—but I like to make it in bulk and keep it around for other concoctions! But it can easily be halved or cut even further, if you only want enough for a few drinks. Just keep the water and sugar ratios equal. You really can’t overdo it with the apples, if you ask me.)
Now, back to the cocktail. Here’s what you do:
First, separate the egg white from the yolk. Crack the egg over your cocktail shaker (if you’re confident) or a small container (I used a mason jar). Pass the yolk back and forth between the two halves of egg shell, allowing the white to drop into the container as you do so. Then transfer the yolk to a different container and set aside (for now).
Combine all the ingredients (the whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, egg white and bitters) in your cocktail shaker, and give it a dry shake (this means without ice) for about 20-30 seconds. A dry shake allows the egg to emulsify and achieve that foaminess we want.
Then add ice to the cocktail shaker and shake again. Strain in a chilled glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick, if you’re fancy (which I am not).
I love the way that the sweet simple syrup, sour lemon juice, and spicy rye all mingle together in this cocktail. They each bring their own personality to the table, and the egg white works as the host and the peacekeeper, ensuring everyone plays nice and smoothing out the edges. It’s the perfect holiday party in a glass.
Now, on to the hair mask:
Grab that egg yolk you saved from your drink, and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. (This is approximate—I honestly eyeballed it, and you might need more or less depending on how long your hair is.) Mix together, preferably with the world’s tiniest, most adorable whisk. (We call him “Whisky.”)
Then use a clean basting brush, comb, or your fingers to apply the mixture to your hair. Be careful—it drips.
This next part is optional, but I find that it helps when it comes time to wash out your mask: After you’ve applied the mask, apply a coat of hair conditioner on top. Then let it sit for 10-20 minutes. Savor your cocktail. Paint your nails. Catch up on Bob’s Burgers. Then: Rinse, wash with shampoo, and condition again.
Voila! OK, granted—I took the “after” photo the next day, after styling my hair with a curling iron. But the night before, after I rinsed out the mask, I applied ZERO products to my hair and let it air dry. I honestly can’t remember the last time my hair was this soft and silky without the help of (many, many) products. That terrifying “before” photo proves it: This puppy works.
This at-home cocktail-mask combo is such a great way to treat yourself, whether you want a little solo pamper time this week, or a fun DIY to share with Mom, your sister, or an old friend over the Thanksgiving weekend. Happy hair meets happy hour. Thanks, eggs!