Elk Hunting photo

Thanks to some 110-percent effort given by my laying flock, I found myself with an abundance of eggs earlier this summer. Looking to free up some egg cartons, I started experimenting with egg-white cocktails. Most of my friends and family thought I was crazy, but there’s an entire canon of cocktail literature devoted to them, from pisco sours to gin fizzes. In my research I stumbled upon one that sounded so crazy, I had to try it. Of course, being an elk hunter, the name didn’t hurt either.

The first Elk’s Own I tried called for Scotch, and all I had on hand was a bottle of Lauder’s. (I was desperate, okay?) After tasting it, I nearly swore off these altogether, but then I found some recipes that called for rye, of which I generally have good stock on hand. I also tweaked it a bit, reducing the amount of port by about half, which also took some of the bite out of the drink. The result is an interesting mix of caramel and grape that somehow works. You’re not going to have several Elk’s Own cocktails in one sitting, but if you try one, I think you’re going to crave them now and again, especially as the temperatures continue to drop this fall.

A note about egg white cocktails: To achieve just the right silky, foamy consistency you have to shake the daylights of them. I’ve found it helps to do a dry shake, without ice, first. Then add a scoop of the frozen stuff and shake again for a few seconds, just to let the cocktail chill without watering it down.

Elk’s Own Cocktail

2 ounces of rye
1 ounce of ruby port
Juice of ½ lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tsp. simple syrup
1 egg white

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. My personal rule is one shake for every year you’ve been alive up to 50; any older than that and shake for half your age.

Add a handful of ice and shake again for another 10 to 15 seconds to chill.

Strain into a cocktail glass and enjoy.